Azure Logic Apps Monthly Update – November 2017

Azure Logic Apps Monthly Update – November 2017

It’s a bit longer this time! Exactly two months after the previous Azure Logic Apps Monthly Update from #MSIgnite, the Logic Apps team were back for their webcast on November 29, 2017. As always, the expectations were high to look into the updates that are coming into the Logic Apps portal. There was no Jeff Hollan in this session, so it was up to Jeff Hollan, Kevin Lam and Derek Li from the team to deliver the updates. So, buckle up! Here we take a look at the updates!!!

What’s New in Azure Logic Apps?

  1. SOAP!! Finally – The most requested and voted feature in UserVoice is now available in Azure Logic Apps. You can use the SOAP functionality over and above the already existing custom connector functionality.
  2. Azure Functions with Swagger – You can automatically render the Azure functions annotated with Swagger. You can have the properties exposed from your Azure Function showing up on the card to make the Azure Function look more richer with the information.
  3. HTTP OAuth with Certificates – OAuth2 is now supported for certificates
  4. Liquid Templates – This feature was released about a month ago. Liquid templates are used in Azure Logic Apps as an XSLT for JSON objects. You can create transformations on JSON objects (ex. JSON to JSON mapping and more other formats) without having to introduce a custom Azure Function. In addition, you can use Liquid templates to create a document/email template with replaceable parameters that you can use to create an output according to your requirement. Liquid templates are part of the Integration Account.
  5. Monitoring View – The Logic Apps team have added some cool functionalities in the monitoring view such as –
    1. Expression Tracing – You can actually get to see the intermediate values for complex expressions
    2. Decode/render XML with syntax coloring
    3. Do-until loop iterations
    4. For-each failure navigation
  6. Bulk resubmit in OMS
  7. Portal workflow settings page – New page where you can find all the workflow level settings in a single page and you make configuration changes from the single page. This avoids you to go to multiple places just to make specific configuration changes.
  8. New URI expressions – trim, uriHost, uriPathAndQuery, uriPort, uriScheme, uriQuery
  9. New Object Expressions – propertySet, property Add, propertyRemove. These expressions help you to manipulate the object throughout the life of the Logic App.
  10. Configurable parallelism for for-each loops and polling triggers – A toggle button to configure the degree of parallelism in a range of 1–50.
  11. Batching – a new trigger has been added to support the size based release. Furthermore, you can configure all the batches (size based, time based and count based) centrally in the Integration Account.

New Connectors

  • Cognitive Services
    • Content Moderator
    • Custom Vision
    • QnA Maker
  • Azure Kusto
  • Azure Container Instances – Manage containers right from Azure Logic Apps (create, group, manage (run workloads) and delete them)
  • Microsoft Kaizala
  • Marketo
  • Outlook – webhook trigger
  • SQL – dynamic schema for stored procedures
  • Blob – create block blob
  • Workday Human Capital Management (HCM)
  • Pitney Bowes Data Validation
  • D&B Optimizer
  • Docparser
  • iAuditor SafetyCulture
  • Enadoc
  • Derdack Signl4
  • Tago
  • Metatask
  • Teradata – write operations

Derek Li showed a cool demo of how the configurable degree of parallelism works for for-each loops. You can watch the demo from 14:28 in the video.
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Logic Apps New Offerings (New Business Model)

The cost of per action calls to Azure Logic Apps has been reduced and clear distinction has been made w.r.t Native calls ($800 per million actions to $25 per million actions)/Standard Connector calls ($800 per million actions to $25 per million actions)/Enterprise Connector calls.

Standard Integration Account                    Basic Integration Account
500 schemas & 500 maps                              50 schemas & 50 maps
500 Partners                                                        2 Partners
500 Agreements                                                 1 Agreement
$1.35/hour                                                            $0.404/hour – 70% < standard

What’s in Progress?

  1. Complex Conditions within the designer – A Visual Studio Query like builder kind of experience so that they can build conditions as they want and build their applications
  2. Configurable lifetime – Currently the lifetime is set to 90 days. In future, this can be customized anywhere between 7 days and 365 days.
  3. Degrees of parallelism for split-on and request triggers
  4. Tracked properties in designer
  5. Snippets – patterns based approach (templates) to insert into a Logic App
  6. Updated Resource Blade
  7. On Premises Data Gateway
    1. Support for Custom Connectors (including SOAP)
    2. High Availability – create a gateway cluster with automatic failover capability
  8. Custom assemblies in Maps
  9. Support for XSLT 3
  10. New liquid actions – text/json
  11. Connectors
    1. SOAP Passthrough
    2. Office365 Excel
    3. Lithium
    4. Kronos
    5. K2
    6. Zoho
    7. Citrix ShareFile
    8. Netezza
    9. PostgreSQL

Watch the recording of the session here
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Community Events Logic Apps team are a part of

  1. Microsoft Tech Summit 2017-18 (happening Worldwide) – Logic Apps & API Management
  2. Gartner Application Strategies and Solutions Summit 2017 – December 4 — 6, 2017 at Las Vegas, NV

Feedback

If you are working on Logic Apps and have something interesting, feel free to share them with the Azure Logic Apps team via email or you can tweet to them at @logicappsio. You can also vote for features that you feel are important and that you’d like to see in logic apps here.

The Logic Apps team are currently running a survey to know how the product/features are useful for you as a user. The team would like to understand your experiences with the product. You can take the survey here.

If you ever wanted to get in touch with the Azure Logic Apps team, here’s how you do it!
Reach Out Azure Logic Apps Team

Previous Updates

In case you missed the earlier updates from the Logic Apps team, take a look at our recap blogs here –

Author: Sriram Hariharan

Sriram Hariharan is the Senior Technical and Content Writer at BizTalk360. He has over 9 years of experience working as documentation specialist for different products and domains. Writing is his passion and he believes in the following quote – “As wings are for an aircraft, a technical document is for a product — be it a product document, user guide, or release notes”.

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2 Released

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2 Released

Microsoft earlier today released BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2 for Microsoft BizTalk Server. This release comes 7 months after Microsoft announced the Feature Pack 1 for Microsoft BizTalk Server 2016.

The BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2 (FP2) contains all functionalities of Feature Pack 1 and all the fixes in the Cumulative Update 3. This FP2 can be installed on BizTalk Server 2016 Enterprise and Developer Edition. You can download the latest version from here.

What’s available in BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2

In BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2, Microsoft is adding the following capabilities –

  • Deploy applications easily into multiple servers using Deployment Groups
  • Backup to Azure Blob Storage account
  • Azure Service Bus adapter now supports the Service Bus Premium capabilities
  • Full support for Transport Layer Security 1.2 authentication and encryption
  • Support for HL7 2.7.1
  • Expose SOAP endpoints with API Management
  • Event Hub Adapter to send and receive messages from Azure Event Hubs
  • Ability to use SQL default instances and SQL named instances with Application Insights

Application Lifecycle Management with VSTS

With BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 1, Microsoft introduced the capability where users can perform continuous build and deployment seamlessly. Check out the detailed blog article that covers the ALM Continuous Deployment Support with VSTS via Visual Studio capability in detail.

In BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2, Microsoft has added improvements where users can use deployment groups to deploy BizTalk applications to multiple servers. This comes in addition to using the agent-based deployment.

Backup to Azure Blob Storage account

In BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2, once you have installed and configured BizTalk server, you can configure the Backup BizTalk Server job to backup your BizTalk databases and log files into Azure Blob storage account.

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2

Event Hub Adapter in BizTalk Server 2016

With BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2, you can send and receive messages between Azure Event Hubs and BizTalk Server.

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2

Azure Service Bus adapter now supports the Service Bus Premium capabilities

You can use the Service Bus adapter to send and receive messages from Service Bus queues, topics and relays. With this adapter, it becomes easy to connect the on-premise BizTalk server to Azure. In BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2, you can send messages to partitioned queues and topics. Additionally, FP2 supports Service Bus Premium capabilities for enterprise scale workloads.

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2

Expose SOAP endpoints with API Management

With the BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2 release, you can expose a WCF-BasicHTTP receive location as an endpoint (SOAP based) from the BizTalk Server Admin console. This enhancement comes in addition to the API Management integrations made in Feature Pack 1 where you can expose an endpoint through API Management from BizTalk.

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2

Ability to use SQL default instances and SQL named instances with Application Insights

In BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 1, Microsoft introduced the capability for users to be able to send tracking data to Application Insights. The Feature Pack 2 supports additional capabilities such as support for SQL default instances and SQL named instances. In addition, users can also send tracking data to Azure Event Hubs.

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2

Within Application Insights, under the Metrics section, select Custom to view the available tracked properties.

BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2Image Source – Microsoft Documentation

Download and Get Started with BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2

The BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 2 can be installed on BizTalk Server 2016 Enterprise and Developer Edition (retail, CU1, CU2, CU3, FP). You can download the latest version from here.

Summary

It is really exciting to see the Feature Pack updates being released by the Pro Integration team. This really shows their commitment to Microsoft BizTalk Server and their vision to integrate on-premise solutions with the cloud.

Author: Sriram Hariharan

Sriram Hariharan is the Senior Technical and Content Writer at BizTalk360. He has over 9 years of experience working as documentation specialist for different products and domains. Writing is his passion and he believes in the following quote – “As wings are for an aircraft, a technical document is for a product — be it a product document, user guide, or release notes”.

Azure Logic Apps Monthly Update – September 2017

Azure Logic Apps Monthly Update – September 2017

This episode of Azure Logic Apps Monthly Update comes to us directly from #MSIgnite. It is one of those episodes with a special guest and this episode featured Sarah Fender from the Azure Security Center team. The Pro Integration team are at #MSIgnite that’s happening between September 25-29, 2017 at Orlando, FL. I’ll try to give you a very crisp recap of the proceedings during the event and the important announcements from the #MSIgnite event.

Azure Security Center

Sarah started off talking about the Azure Security Center feature. Security Center provides unified security management and threat protection for Azure workloads, workloads running on-premises and on other cloud platforms. It basically assesses the security of the cloud and on-premise workloads and offers out of the box insights. In addition, Security Center offers some built in security controls such as Just in Time VM access that will help to lock down access to virtual machines, and Adaptive Access Controls that help to lock down on machines to prevent any malware execution. Security Center also monitors the hybrid cloud using advanced concepts like Machine Learning and provides rich graphical data to administrators.

Security Center keeps a look into all the different incidents in the environment such as SQL Injection, security incidents, suspicious processes and so on and provides insights which will be very helpful for IT teams to keep a track of the issues in the environment.

At #MSIgnite, the Azure Security Center team introduced the new experience of Investigation Dashboard. With this feature, organizations can easily respond to the incident and understand the intricate details about the security incident. The investigation path defines the attack path and the graphical view displays the detailed information such as severity of the attack, attack detected by information and so on. The investigation dashboard also lists the entities and now supports the Playbooks that are nothing but Logic Apps being triggered from Security Center when a certain alert is fired.

You can run a Playbook from the Security Center through the integration with Azure Logic Apps. Users can pre-define a Logic App that will actually take a corrective action when there is an attack you can allow the investigation dashboard to automatically execute that particular Logic App (through Playbook) to execute the corrective action. For e.g., when a vulnerability attack is detected with a very high severity, post a message on the slack channel for the users to get notified.

After all these updates from Sarah, it was time for the Logic Apps trio comprising of Jeff Hollan, Kevin Lam and Jon Fancey to provide the latest updates on Logic Apps. Kevin Lam started off by giving the latest updates-

What’s New in Azure Logic Apps?

  1. Custom Connectors – Enables the option to extend your endpoints and register them as connectors in Logic Apps.
  2. Large Message Support – This functionality is now available in the designer. Using this functionality, you can move large files up to 1 GB (between) for specific connectors (blob, FTP).
  3. Variables append to array – append capability to aggregate data within loops in the designer. Kevin Lam gave a pro tip here for all users –

    Remember to turn on sequential for for-each to achieve this scenario.

  4. Nested foreach and do-until – is now available in the designer.
  5. Enable high throughput scenarios – You can configure the number of scale units within the code view to enable the high throughput scenarios. Say, you can take one Logic App definition that runs in a scale unit and span it across 16/32/64 scale units to get increased throughput. This is called ludicrous mode (as Kevin had it on the PPT).
  6.  Maximum retries count (Custom Retry Policy) has been increased from 4 to 10.
  7. Now you can export (Publish) Logic Apps to PowerApps and Flow
  8. Emit correlation tracking id from the trigger to OMS – This gives full traceability across the process that’s happening across the Logic App.
  9. Expression intellisense – This is now available in the designer. When you are typing an expression, you will see the same intelligent view that you see when you are typing in Visual studio.
  10. Schedule based batching – In addition to batching based on message count, you can batch messages based on the schedule.

New Connectors

  • Azure Security Center Trigger
  • Log Analytics Data Collector – add information to Log Analytics from Log Analytics
  • ServiceNow – create tickets, read & write into ServiceNow
  • DateTime Actions
  • Azure Event Grid Publish
  • Adobe Sign – This was a big announcement from Microsoft at #MSIgnite – collaboration with Adobe
  • O365 Groups
  • Skype for Business
  • LinkedIn
  • Apache Impala
  • FlowForma
  • Bizzy

What’s in Progress?

  1. Concurrency Control (code-view live) – Say, your Logic App is executing in a faster way than you want it to actually work. In this case, you can make Logic Apps to slow down (restrict the number of Logic Apps running in parallel). This is possible today in the code-view where you can define say, only 10 Logic Apps can execute at a particular time in parallel. Therefore, when 10 Logic Apps are executing in parallel, the Logic Apps logic will stop polling until one of the 10 Logic Apps finish execution and then start polling for data.
  2. SOAP – Native SOAP support to consume cloud and on-premise SOAP services. This is one of the most requested features on UserVoice.
  3. Expression Tracing –  You can actually get to see the intermediate values for complex expressions
  4. Foreach failure navigation – If there are lots of iterations in the foreach loop and few of them failed; instead of having to look for which one actually failed, you can navigate to the next failed action inside a for each loop easily to see what happened.
  5. Functions + Swagger – You can automatically render the Azure functions annotated with Swagger. This functionality will be going live by end of August.
  6. HTTP OAuth with Certificates
  7. Complex Conditions within the designer
  8. Bulk resubmit in OMS
  9. Batch configuration in Integration Account
  10. Connectors
    1. Workday
    2. Marketo
    3. Compute
    4. Containers

Watch the recording of this session here

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Community Events Logic Apps team are a part of

  1. INTEGRATE 2017 USA – October 25 – 27, 2017 at Redmond. Register for the event today. Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President at Microsoft will be delivering the keynote speech. You can also avail Day Passes for the event (available for Wednesday and Thursday).
  2. ServerlessConf – 2 days of sessions on Serverless with Hackathon during October 2017
  3. Workday Rising – October 9 – 12 at Chicago
  4. CONNECT 2017 on October 9, 2017 at DeFabrique, Utrecht

Feedback

If you are working on Logic Apps and have something interesting, feel free to share them with the Azure Logic Apps team via email or you can tweet to them at @logicappsio. You can also vote for features that you feel are important and that you’d like to see in logic apps here.

The Logic Apps team are currently running a survey to know how the product/features are useful for you as a user. The team would like to understand your experiences with the product. You can take the survey here.

If you ever wanted to get in touch with the Azure Logic Apps team, here’s how you do it!
Reach Out Azure Logic Apps Team

Previous Updates

In case you missed the earlier updates from the Logic Apps team, take a look at our recap blogs here –

Author: Sriram Hariharan

Sriram Hariharan is the Senior Technical and Content Writer at BizTalk360. He has over 9 years of experience working as documentation specialist for different products and domains. Writing is his passion and he believes in the following quote – “As wings are for an aircraft, a technical document is for a product — be it a product document, user guide, or release notes”.

Microsoft Flow Buttons Integration

Microsoft Flow Buttons Integration

Microsoft has been providing support for a lot of external services such as BTTN, Flic etc., to trigger a Microsoft Flow by pressing a button. BTTN is a physical button made by The Button Corporation, while Flic is an offering from Shortcut Labs. In this blog, we will take a look at how we can trigger a Microsoft Flow by integrating with BTTN service. Credits to the Microsoft team for offering these hooks to connect to external services.

Scenario

To explain the integration with Microsoft Flow buttons, let’s consider this scenario. We will have a virtual BTTN named Conference Room 1 Bttn which will be specific to a conference room at Contoso company. The purpose of this button is to seek immediate assistance from the IT Help desk team at Contoso for any issues in the conference room (such as WiFi not working, need extra VGA/HDMI cable connector, etc.,). When the virtual Bttn is pressed, a Microsoft Flow will run in the background that will automatically send an email to the IT Help desk team and notify them on their Microsoft Teams channel. When the agent picks up the case, the person who triggered the Bttn will be notified (via email) about the status of the ticket.

What is BTTN? How to get my BTTN?

BTTN or BT.TN is a very simple internet user interface which when pressed can be used to trigger any specific action. You can imagine BTTN as a physical button (Ex., the emergency red button on train engines or big machinery) which can trigger an action when pressed.

BTTN is available as a physical button for different purposes such as simple laundry pickup in one click, call a taxi with the click of a button, assistance when something is not right in the conference room, and so on. You can purchase these physical buttons from here.

BTTN has the built-in capability to integrate with the following services – Facebook, Twitter, Email, SMS, Microsoft Flows, IFTTT, Zapier, and HTTP.

Virtual BTTN

BTTN Corporation also has a virtual button (a smart cloud service) that has the capability to execute an action on one of the above-mentioned integrations in a couple of mouse clicks without having to write any code.

Getting your free Bttn

You can easily claim your virtual bttn from here. The virtual bttn is free of cost and you can use it for 30 days. Simply complete the cart payment step (of course without spending any money!) and you will see a confirmation message saying your virtual bttn will be delivered in 2 business days.

Registering your Bttn

However, it usually just takes about 6-8 hours for your virtual bttn to be delivered on to your mailbox. In the email, you will be presented with a link to register your bttn. Enter the Bttn device ID and the authentication code which is available in the registration link. These fields will be automatically populated if you click the link from your email. Accept the terms & privacy policy and click Register.

You will be prompted to create a password. Once done, log in with your email address and password. You will notice the screen that will display your virtual bttn.

  • Click Settings icon (gear icon) to change the name of your button to a meaningful name. Ex., Conference Room 1 Button

  • Click the Set Action icon (Lightning icon) to define the trigger for the Bttn — what action should be performed when the bttn is clicked. Ex., when bttn is pressed, execute a Microsoft Flow to send email to technical support team requesting assistance at the conference room.

  • Click the Rocket Launcher icon to launch your virtual bttn. We will hold on to this step for a while till we create the Flow execution steps.

Creating the Microsoft Flow

Now that we have created the virtual Bttn, let’s move to the next step of creating the Microsoft Flow. Microsoft Flow has pre-built Flow templates readily available for BTTN integration. In the search screen, enter “Bttn” to filter out the templates for Bttn.

We will use the predefined “Use Bttn to call technical support for meeting room” Microsoft Flow template for our scenario. Click the template.

To start using the template, you need to define the BTTN and authorize Microsoft Flow to be able to access the Bttn. Similarly, you need to configure Office 365 Outlook to be able to trigger emails when the Bttn is pressed.

Next, we will define the Flow steps to match our scenario.

Step 1: Trigger to execute when the Bttn is pressed

Step 2: Notification to Microsoft Teams Channel of IT Help desk team

Step 3: Trigger email with options (Acknowledge/Reject) to the support engineer

Step 4: Condition to execute depending on the option chosen by the support engineer. The ‘Yes’ block will execute if the support person acknowledges the request.

That’s it! You have now configured the Flow required for the scenario. Let’s see how the scenario will work in real time.

Demo

To get the scenario working, the first step is to trigger the virtual button. Navigate to your button home page and click the Rocket Launcher icon to launch your virtual bttn. You will see a new tab opening with a big red button (which is your virtual bttn that will trigger the Microsoft Flow that we created earlier). The status of the bttn will be in an Idle state.

Press the virtual Bttn once to trigger the Microsoft Flow. You will notice a yellow color light glowing around the button that signifies the Flow is executing. The status of the bttn will now be in the “Processing” state. Within the next few seconds, the IT Help desk team will receive the notification first on the Microsoft Teams channel with information about the issue.

The IT help desk team will also receive an email with acknowledgment options to their email id.

When the Acknowledge button is pressed, the flow will further execute to the condition part and execute the ‘Yes’ block that will trigger back a confirmation email to the registered bttn email id with the confirmation message.

Once the Flow is complete, you will notice that the status of the Flow button will be Green with the status as Positive Result.

Flow Run History and BTTN Logs

You can take a look at the Run History to view the list of runs of the flow and time taken to execute the flow.

Alternatively, you can take a look at the diagnostics information from the Bttn perspective through the Log section on your bttn homepage.

I hope you got a fair idea of how you can take advantage of Microsoft’s investment into integrating different services that open up a plethora of opportunities to integrate different systems. One of the slightest modifications to this scenario could be to directly log the issues into ServiceNow portal (if your organization is using ServiceNow for keeping track of the issues). You can use HTTP + Swagger action and define APIs for ServiceNow so that you can directly log tickets into ServiceNow from Microsoft Flow. Kent Weare demonstrated this scenario on Episode 27 of Middleware Friday. You can watch the video recording of the session here –

Author: Sriram Hariharan

Sriram Hariharan is the Senior Technical and Content Writer at BizTalk360. He has over 9 years of experience working as documentation specialist for different products and domains. Writing is his passion and he believes in the following quote – “As wings are for an aircraft, a technical document is for a product — be it a product document, user guide, or release notes”.

Azure Logic Apps Monthly Update – August 2017

Azure Logic Apps Monthly Update – August 2017

You can really feel how time actually flies if you have attended the Azure Logic Apps Live webcast from the Logic Apps team. It feels just like yesterday when the team came online and presented a bunch of updates for the month of July and in no matter of time, here they were today (August 22) to present the next set of updates. I’ve always been fascinated by the commitment from the Logic Apps team in rolling out new features, organizing these monthly webcasts and responding to queries on the Twitter channel. Right, now on to the Jeff Hollan and Kevin Lam show!!! (Credits to Eldert Grootenboer for terming this during the webinar!)

What’s New in Azure Logic Apps?

  1.  Azure Event Grid – The newest and hottest kid in town; technical preview version was released by Microsoft on August 16th.

    What is Azure Event Grid??

    Azure Event Grid is the event-based routing as a service offering from Microsoft that aligns with their “Serverless” strategy. Azure Event Grid simplifies the Event Consumption logic by making it more of a “Push” mechanism rather than a “Pull” mechanism – meaning, you can simply listen to and react to events from different Azure services and other sources without having to constantly poll into each service and look for events. Azure Event Grid is definitely a game changing feature from Microsoft in the #Serverless space.

    The best example where you can use Azure Event Grid is to automatically get notified when any user makes a slight modification to the production subscription, or when you have multiple IoT devices pumping telemetry data.

    Azure Event Grid Connectors for Logic Apps

    At present, there is a Azure Event Grid Connector with only one trigger – Azure Event Grid – When a resource event occurs. You can use this connector to trigger events whenever a resource event occurs.

    The Logic Apps team is also working on adding a new connector – Publish Event which will be rolled out shortly. Using this connector, users can publish events (e.g., all events related to Serverless) into the Event Grid.

  2. Custom HTML and CSV headers – If you have an array of data (example, #Serverless on Twitter), you can easily convert the information into a CSV document or HTML table by using the “Create CSV Table” action. Later, you can pick up this CSV table and easily embed to an email.
  3. Enable Log Analytics from Create – More easier way to enable Log Analytics by toggling the status while creating the Logic App. You no longer need to go to the Diagnostics section to enable Log Analytics. Check out this detailed blog post that shows how you can enable Log Analytics while creating the Logic App.
  4. OMS Workspace Dashboard – Create a global dashboard for all the available Logic Apps under your subscription. View the status of the Logic App, number of runs and additional details. Check out this blog post on how you can integrate Azure Logic Apps and Log Analytics.
  5. Peek at code view – Say, you are working with Logic Apps and you add a connector. From now, you can easily switch between the code view and designer view by clicking “Peek code” from the Options drop down (….).


    Note: At present, the Peek code is available only in Read-Only mode. If you wish you need to edit the code directly from here, you can send the Logic Apps team a feedback on Twitter or through User Voice.
  6. Advanced Scheduling in the Logic Apps Designer – There are new options to schedule the Logic App execution on a Daily and Weekly basis. This was available in the code view but now you can get this experience right in the designer. Monthly update will be rolled out soon!

    In the Schedule trigger, you will notice that when you click on Week, there are few advanced operations available for you to define when you want the trigger to execute during a week. Say, you want your trigger to execute every Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 9:35 AM, 1:35 PM; 5:35 PM. The below screenshot depicts the example. The preview section will display the actual Logic App trigger condition based on the previous selections.

New Connectors

  • Azure Table Storage – This was one of the second most sought after connector from the community!
  • Azure Event Grid
  • Azure Log Analytics
  • Azure SQL Data Warehouse
  • Microsoft StaffHub
  • MySQL (R/W)
  • ServiceNow (East US 2 region)
  • Amazon Redshift
  • DocFusion 365

What’s in Progress?

As usual, another long list of features that the Logic Apps team is currently working on and should be available in the coming weeks.

  1. Concurrency Control (code-view live) – Say, your Logic App is executing in a faster way than you want it to actually work. In this case, you can make Logic Apps to slow down (restrict the number of Logic Apps running in parallel). This is possible today in the code-view where you can define say, only 10 Logic Apps can execute at a particular time in parallel. Therefore, when 10 Logic Apps are executing in parallel, the Logic Apps logic will stop polling until one of the 10 Logic Apps finish execution and then start polling for data.
    NOTE: This works with the Polling Trigger (and not with Request Triggers such as Twitter connector etc) without SplitOn enabled.
  2. Custom Connectors – Get your own connector within your subscription so that your connector gets shown up on the list. This is currently in Private preview and should be available for public in the month of September.
  3. Large Files – Ability to move large files up to 1 GB (between) for specific connectors (blob, FTP). This is almost ready for release!
  4. SOAP – Native SOAP support to consume cloud and on-premise SOAP services. This is one of the most requested features on UserVoice.
  5. Variables (code-view live) – append capability to aggregate data within loops. The AppendToArray will be shipped soon, and AppendToString will come in the next few weeks.
  6. Expression intellisense – This functionality will go live on August 25th. Say, if you are typing an expression, you will see the same intelligent view that you see when you are typing in Visual studio.
  7. Expression Tracing –  You can actually get to see the intermediate values for complex expressions
  8. Foreach nesting in the designer – This capability will soon be incorporated into the designer in the coming few weeks.
  9. Foreach failure navigation – If there are 1000 iterations in the foreach loop and 10 of them failed; instead of having to look for which one actually failed, you can navigate to the next failed action inside a for each loop easily to see what happened.
  10. Functions + Swagger – You can automatically render the Azure functions annotated with Swagger. This functionality will be going live by end of August.
  11. Publish Logic Apps to PowerApps and Flow in a easy way
  12. Time based batching
  13. Upcoming Connectors
    1. Workday
    2. Feedly
    3. SQL Triggers (available in East US today but will be available across other regions in a few weeks)

Watch the recording of this session here

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Community Events Logic Apps team are a part of

  1. Integration Bootcamp on September 21-22, 2017 at Charlotte, North Carolina. This event will focus on BizTalk, Azure Logic Apps, Azure API Management and lots more.
  2. INTEGRATE 2017 USA – October 25 – 27, 2017 at Redmond. Register for the event today. Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President at Microsoft will be delivering the keynote speech.
  3. New York Hackathon – September 5, 2017 – A first of its kind Hackathon event on September 5, 2017 at Microsoft Times Square office in Downtown, Washington. This hackathon will focus on Azure Functions, Azure Logic Apps, Azure App Services, API Management and more. If you are interested to attend this hackathon, send the Logic Apps team a Tweet (DM), email.
  4. Microsoft Ignite – September 25—29, 2017 at Orlando, Florida – Sessions on Logic Apps, APIs, Integration, and Serverless

Why attend INTEGRATE 2017 USA event?

Here’s a heads up as to why you have to attend INTEGRATE 2017 USA event.

Also check out this blog post that should get you convinced on why to attend INTEGRATE 2017 USA event: Read blog

Feedback

If you are working on Logic Apps and have something interesting, feel free to share them with the Azure Logic Apps team via email or you can tweet to them at @logicappsio. You can also vote for features that you feel are important and that you’d like to see in logic apps here.

The Logic Apps team are currently running a survey to know how the product/features are useful for you as a user. The team would like to understand your experiences with the product. You can take the survey here.

If you ever wanted to get in touch with the Azure Logic Apps team, here’s how you do it!
Reach Out Azure Logic Apps Team

Previous Updates

In case you missed the earlier updates from the Logic Apps team, take a look at our recap blogs here –

Author: Sriram Hariharan

Sriram Hariharan is the Senior Technical and Content Writer at BizTalk360. He has over 9 years of experience working as documentation specialist for different products and domains. Writing is his passion and he believes in the following quote – “As wings are for an aircraft, a technical document is for a product — be it a product document, user guide, or release notes”.

Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring – PREVIEW

Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring – PREVIEW

The Azure Logic Apps team announced the preview version for Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring. Microsoft terms this release as “New Azure Logic Apps solution for Log Analytics”. The basic idea behind this brand new experience is to monitor and get insights about the Logic App runs with Operations Management Suite (OMS) and Log Analytics.

The new solution is very similar to the existing B2B OMS portal solution. Azure Logic Apps customers can continue to monitor their Logic Apps easily either via the OMS portal, Azure or even on the move with the OMS app.

What’s new in the preview of Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring Portal?

  • View all the Logic Apps run information
  • Status of Logic Apps (Success or Failure)
  • Details of failed runs
  • With Log Analytics in place, users can also set up alerts to get notified if something is not working as expected
  • Easily/quickly turn on Azure diagnostics in order to push the telemetry data from Logic App to the workplace

Enable OMS Monitoring for Azure Logic Apps

Follow the steps as listed below to enable OMS Monitoring for Logic Apps:

  1. Log in to your Azure Portal
  2. Search for “Log Analytics” (found under the list of services in the Marketplace), and then select Log Analytics.
  3. Click Create Log Analytics
  4. In the OMS Workspace pane,
    1. OMS Workspace – Enter the OMS Workspace name
    2. Subscription – Select the Subscription from the drop down
    3. Resource Group – Pick your existing resource group or create a new resource group
    4. Location – Choose the data center location where you want to deploy the Log Analytics feature
    5. Pricing Tier – The cost of workspace depends on the pricing tier and the solutions that you use. Pick the right pricing tier from the drop down.
      Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring
    6. Once you have created the OMS Workspace, create the Logic App. While creating the Logic App, enable Logic Analytics by pointing to the OMS workspace. For existing Logic Apps, you can enable OMS Monitoring from Monitoring > Diagnostics > Diagnostic settings.
      Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring
    7. Once you have created the Logic App, execute the Logic App with some run information
    8. Navigate back to the OMS Workspace that you created earlier. You will notice a message at the top of your screen asking you to upgrade the OMS workspace. Go ahead and do the upgrade process.
      Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring
    9. Click Upgrade Now to start the Upgrade process
      Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring
    10. Once the upgrade is complete, you will see the confirmation message in the notifications area.
      Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring
    11. Under Management section, click OMS Portal
      Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring
    12. Click Solutions Gallery on the left menu
      Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring
    13. In the solutions list, select Logic Apps Management solution
      Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring
    14. Click Add to add the Logic Apps monitoring view to your OMS workspace. Note that this functionality is still in preview at the time of writing this blog.
      Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring
    15. You will see the status of your Logic App (No. of Runs, count of succeeded, running, and failed runs)
      Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring
      NOTE: The Logic Apps run data did not appear immediately for me. I could see this data only in my third attempt (after selecting the region as West Central US, thanks to the tip from Steef-Jan Wiggers). Steef has also written a blog post about the Logic Apps and OMS integration capabilities. Therefore, please be ready to wait for some time to see the Logic App status on the OMS dashboard.
    16. Click the Dashboard area to view the detailed information
      Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring
    17. You can drill down the report by clicking on a particular status and viewing the detailed information
      Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring
    18. Click the record row to examine the run information in detail
      Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring

Therefore, you can now configure Monitoring and Diagnostics for Logic Apps directly into the OMS Portal which is very similar to the B2B messaging capabilities that existed earlier. I hope you found this blog useful in setting up Azure Logic Apps OMS Monitoring. I’m already excited for the next preview features to be rolled out from the Azure Logic Apps team.

Author: Sriram Hariharan

Sriram Hariharan is the Senior Technical and Content Writer at BizTalk360. He has over 9 years of experience working as documentation specialist for different products and domains. Writing is his passion and he believes in the following quote – “As wings are for an aircraft, a technical document is for a product — be it a product document, user guide, or release notes”.

Azure Logic Apps Monthly Update – July 2017

Azure Logic Apps Monthly Update – July 2017

After the previous Logic Apps live webcast back in May 2017, the team were back just in time for their webcast on July 26, 2017 – a day before Logic Apps went Generally Available (GA) one year ago! Yes, Azure Logic Apps officially turns 1!! A huge round of applause and shout out to the team at Microsoft for giving a great product offering. This episode of Logic Apps live webcast had Jeff Hollan, Kevin Lam and Jon Fancey giving the recent updates that have rolled into the product.

Happy Birthday Logic Apps! You’ve turned 1 and have a long way to go!

New York Hackathon – September 5, 2017

The Logic Apps team is conducting a very unique, first of its kind Hackathon event on September 5, 2017 at Microsoft Times Square office in Downtown, Washington. This hackathon will focus on Azure Functions, Azure Logic Apps, Azure App Services, API Management and more. If you are interested to attend this hackathon, send the Logic Apps team a Tweet (DM), email.

What’s New in Azure Logic Apps?

  1. Export Logic App in Visual Studio – When you open a Logic App from Cloud Explorer in Visual Studio, you can export the Logic App to your Visual Studio project. This will create a file on your file system of the Logic App as an ARM template. You can import this template into the Visual Studio and start using your Logic App within Visual Studio.
  2. Webhooks in Foreach loop – Previously, it was possible to have Webhooks across the Logic App and now the functionality has been extended to the Foreach loop. You can have as many Webhooks in your foreach loop.
  3. Service Principal Authentication (Azure Data Lake and ARM) – If you are using any resource templates, one of the biggest challenges with some OAuth connectors is that you have to give your consent by signing up and giving Logic Apps the permission to access your connection details. This is a challenge when there are numerous deployments. Instead, now when you try to connect to Azure Resource Manager or Azure Data Lake, you can now connect using the Azure Application Service Principal. All you have to do is provide a secret key that has access to the application. Soon, this functionality will roll out to Office365 connectors, Dynamics connectors and SharePoint connectors.

  4. Array handling in designer – Let’s say you have a situation where you have an output from one of the Logic App steps and you want to input the actual array object instead of the actual elements, this operation is now possible in the Logic Apps designer. This is best implemented now in the “Send Email” step where you can add multiple attachments as an array.
  5. Batch Processing – Jon Fancey demonstrated this functionality at INTEGRATE 2017 where users can group things together (arbitrarily).
  6. Variable decrement – In addition to initialize and increment (discussed in the earlier Logic Apps Live webcast), and the Set functionality explained here, the Logic Apps team have added the “decrement” capability to variables. The team will be adding support for more variable types in the coming weeks/months.
  7. Run history compressed view – When you click the Run History section, you will see a compressed view of the actual run history that lists the failed runs for you to easily act upon.
  8. Run API time-range filter – You can now filter the runs based on the time-range (say, between two date range times)
  9. Action Configuration settings (splitOn, retry policy, timeout, sequential flag, disable async polling) – All these operations (that are configurable) can now be performed right from the Logic Apps Designer in the Trigger Configuration settings.
  10. Pan and zoom within the Designer
  11. Server side paging (eg., SQL) – For instance, SQL has a page size limit of 256 rows in a request. Say, when you query more than 256 rows, only the first 256 rows would be fetched from the database. Now you can enable Server Side Paging from the Designer where there is a configurable value and you can retrieve the number of rows depending on the value that is configured.
  12. Expression Authoring – You can build your expression functions from the designer, and all other expressions are listed right in the Designer. It becomes easy for you to find the expressions.
  13. Smart tips – There are hints now available in the Logic Apps Designer that will remind you to perform a very important action.
  14. XSLT Byte Order Mark config – When you use the Transform action, you will normally get back the XML and along with it, you will receive the byte order mark. The Logic Apps team has now in fact cleaned the code in such a way that you can now opt out from receiving those byte order mark in addition to the XML.
  15. Open Sourced Templates – You can submit New / update the existing Templates at github.com/azure/logicapps. The Logic Apps team will review the templates and publish them accordingly.

New Connectors

  • Azure File Storage – You can now access your blob attached storage from/to your VM
  • ARM Invoke and Service Principal – The ARM Invoke is super powerful. For any Azure Resource that you have access to, you can easily Start/Stop the VM, etc.
  • Azure Application Insights – This connector allows you to queue up reports and run queries to get the App Insights report
  • Video Indexer
  • Microsoft Planner
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft Forms
  • Bing Maps
  • Bing Search
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Parserr
  • Calendly
  • Teamwork
  • JotForm
  • Freshservice
  • Pitney Bowes
  • AWeber
  • Cognito Forms
  • Team Work
  • PostreSQL

What’s in Progress?

  1. Large Files – Ability to move large files up to 1 GB (between) for specific connectors (blob, FTP)
  2. SOAP – One of the most requested features on UserVoice. Once available, you will be able to consume SOAP services (both cloud and on-premise)
  3. Expression Intellisense – Logic Apps workflow definitions will incorporate the same code used by Microsoft Visual Studio
  4. Expression tracing – With this capability, you can actually get to see the intermediate values for complex expressions
  5. Foreach nesting in the designer – This was a backend capability that was recently released but this capability will soon be incorporated into the designer.
  6. Foreach failure navigation – Say, you have about 1000 iterations in the foreach loop and 5 of them actually failed, you have to look for which one actually failed. Instead, you can navigate to the next failed action inside a for each loop easily to see what happened.
  7. Functions + Swagger
  8. Logic Apps OMS Package – You can monitor all the Logic Apps using a B2B solution within the Operations Management Suite (OMS). The preview of this OMS dashboard will be available within the next month (before next Logic Apps live webcast). You can bulk resubmit at the same time.

  9. Variables append (capability)
  10. Publish Logic Apps to PowerApps and Flow in a easy way
  11. Export Flow to Logic App ARM template
  12. Code view peek in the Action
  13. Time based batching
  14. Upcoming Connectors
    1. Azure Tables
    2. Azure SQL Data Warehouse
    3. Service Now
    4. Workday
    5. Feedly
    6. MySQL (RW)
    7. Amazon Redshift

You can watch the recording of this session here
[embedded content]

Community Events Logic Apps team are a part of

  1. Integration Bootcamp on September 21-22, 2017 at Charlotte, North Carolina. This event will focus on BizTalk, Azure Logic Apps, Azure API Management and lots more.
  2. INTEGRATE 2017 USA – October 25 – 27, 2017 at Redmond. Register for the event today.

Why attend INTEGRATE 2017 USA event?

Jim Harrer (Pro Integration Team Program Manager, Microsoft) and Saravana Kumar (Founder/CTO – BizTalk360) give you a heads up as to why you have to attend INTEGRATE 2017 USA event.

Feedback

If you are working on Logic Apps and have something interesting, feel free to share them with the Azure Logic Apps team via email or you can tweet to them at @logicappsio. You can also vote for features that you feel are important and that you’d like to see in logic apps here.

The Logic Apps team are currently running a survey to know how the product/features are useful for you as a user. The team would like to understand your experiences with the product. You can take the survey here.

If you ever wanted to get in touch with the Azure Logic Apps team, here’s how you do it!
Reach Out Azure Logic Apps Team

Previous Updates

In case you missed the earlier updates from the Logic Apps team, take a look at our recap blogs here –

Author: Sriram Hariharan

Sriram Hariharan is the Senior Technical and Content Writer at BizTalk360. He has over 9 years of experience working as documentation specialist for different products and domains. Writing is his passion and he believes in the following quote – “As wings are for an aircraft, a technical document is for a product — be it a product document, user guide, or release notes”.

INTEGRATE 2017 – BizTalk360 Partner & Product Specialist of the Year Awards

INTEGRATE 2017 – BizTalk360 Partner & Product Specialist of the Year Awards

During the course of INTEGRATE 2017, BizTalk360 Founder/CTO Saravana Kumar presented the Partner of the Year (2016) and Product Specialist awards to companies and technical leaders who have showcased and demonstrated expertise with the BizTalk360 product over the last year. We started this tradition in the BizTalk Summit 2015 and INTEGRATE 2016 events and the trend continues.

BizTalk360 Partner of the Year 2016 Awards

The Partner of the Year 2016 award was bagged by Codit from Netherlands, Solidsoft Reply from UK, and Evry from Sweden.

INTEGRATE 2017 Awards - PartnerINTEGRATE 2017 Awards - Partner

Product Specialist Of The Year 2016 Awards

BizTalk360 recognized the efforts of people who have proven their history of implementation of the product over the past year. The program recognizes these exceptional contributions by allowing product specialists early access to products and a forum for providing feedback. This year, we are extremely happy to present this award to 15 people –

  • Bart Scheurweghs
  • David Grospelier
  • Daniel Toomey
  • Daniel Wilen
  • Maarit Laine
  • Eldert Grootenboer
  • Eva De Jong
  • Joakim Wadskog
  • Jordy Maes
  • Kent Weare
  • Kien Pham
  • Maxime Delwaide
  • Milen Koychev
  • Nicolas Blatter
  • Steef – Jan Wiggers

We would like to thank all our Partners and Product Specialists for their efforts towards improving the reach of BizTalk360 to customers.

Author: Sriram Hariharan

Sriram Hariharan is the Senior Technical and Content Writer at BizTalk360. He has over 9 years of experience working as documentation specialist for different products and domains. Writing is his passion and he believes in the following quote – “As wings are for an aircraft, a technical document is for a product — be it a product document, user guide, or release notes”.

INTEGRATE 2017 – Recap of Day 3

INTEGRATE 2017 – Recap of Day 3

After a scintillating Day 1 and Day 2 at INTEGRATE 2017, the stage was perfectly set for the last (Day 3) day of the event. Before you proceed further, we recommend you to take a read at the following links –

Quick Links

Session 1 – Rethinking Integration by Nino Crudele

Day 3 at INTEGRATE 2017 started off with the “Brad Pitt of the Integration Community” – Nino Crudele. It was a perfect start to the last day of this premier integration focused conference.

Nino started off his session by thanking his mentor, a fellow MVP for instilling knowledge about Power BI. This session was based on true experience. Nino shared his experience of how he calls the job as his passion with three different types of jobs – Bizzy (BizTalk), DEFCON1, and Chicken Way. In this context, what Nino refers to the Chicken way is the way in which you can actually solve the problem – you can take a direct or an indirect approach to solve the problem.

Nino even had some Chicken Way Red Cards to give away to the community and some reactions to that were –

Then Nino presented the most comical slide of the entire #Integrate2017 event – a question / answer from his 12-year old daughter about BizTalk.

The above slide shows how people perceive the technology actually. Therefore, it’s imperative that you have to choose the proper technology to solve the specific problem and make the customer happy. Nino also explained what according to him are the top technology stacks and made a mention that “BizTalk is SOLID” – a very solid technology platform.

Then Nino gave an example of his customer experience where the customers were using 15 BizTalk Servers! :O Nino suggested changes to certain approaches in their business process, and the way to get the real time performance improvement. The customer was also looking for a real fast hybrid integration (point to point) with BizTalk in the project with real time monitoring, tracing and so on. Nino suggested a framework that was completely built over the cloud. This approach was more reliable and the customer had complete control over the messaging system, scalable and so on. The solution made use of Logic App, Event Hubs, Service Bus, Blob storage and many more such integration solutions which made the customer happy.

The session moved into a cool demo from Nino (real time data visualization in Power BI using custom visualization) which you can get to watch when the videos go Live on the INTEGRATE 2017 website.

Session 2 – Moving to Cloud-Native Integration by Richard Seroter

The second session of the day was from Richard Seroter on Moving to Cloud-Native Integration. Richard started off his talk with the analogy of “theory of constraints” where processes are limited to throughput by the constraint (bottleneck). In any software environment, you have to focus on what is the constraint that is slowing you down and optimize it. In an organization environment, there are chances that the “integration might itself be the constraint” to slow things and slow down the business.

Therefore, Richard introduces the concept of cloud native integration to connect different systems.

Integration Today

According to Gartner, in current scenario, application-to-application integration is the most critical integration scenario, while few years down the line, cloud service integration will rise to the top. The actual spending on integration platforms is on the rise with the fastest growth in iPaaS and API Management.

Again, Gartner says, by 2020, 75% of the companies will establish a hybrid integration platform using an infrastructure that they assemble from different vendors. By 2021, atleast 50% of large companies will have incorporated citizen integrator capabilities into their integration infrastructure.

What is Cloud Native?

Cloud native is basically “how” do I build a software!

The following image clearly shows the difference between a traditional enterprise and a cloud native enterprise.

Delivering Cloud Native Integration

  • Build a more composable solution that is
    • Loosely coupled
    • Makes use of choreographed services
    • Push more logic to the endpoints
    • Offer targeted updates

Richard then jumped into his demos where in the first demo, he used a Logic App as a data pipeline. The Logic App receives a message from the queue, call a service running in Azure App service, call a Azure function that does some fraud processing, and feed the result message back to the queue for further processing.

To feed the queue, Richard deploys another Logic App where a file is picked up from OneDrive, parse the file as a JSON array and dump it to the queue which is on the other Logic App.

That’s not it! Richard had few more demos in store – Making BizTalk server easy where he used BizTalk 2016 FP1 Management APIs to create BizTalk artifacts self-service style, and automate Azure via Service Broker.

We recommend you to watch this session when the video is made available in a week’s time on the INTEGRATE 2017 website.

Session 3 – Overcoming Challenges When Taking Your Logic App into Production

Stephen started off with a key announcement about the readiness of a New Pluralsight Course – “BizTalk Server Administration with BizTalk360“. The course will be made available shortly.

Phase 1 of the session was targeted towards ‘Decision Making‘, phase 2 was on what we did right and wrong, and the last phase with some important tips.

Decisions

Stephen compared building a .NET parser solution to Logic Apps development. Logic Apps was calculated to have finished earlier and way cheaper. They even questioned if Integration Account are worth the price ($1000 per month)

What’s Wrong and Right?

    • Make design decisions based on the rules on the serverless platform and factoring costs per Logic Apps action
    • Stephen described that initially he used 2 subscriptions in 2 regions, but this made deployment across regions hard. Therefore, the best practice is to have one subscription in one region
    • Solution structure – Solution level maps to a resource group, use one project per Logic App, maintained 3 parameter files, one per environment. For performing deployment you can create a custom VM.
  • Serverless – is AMAZING, but sometimes things break for no fault of your own, sometimes Microsoft support needs to be called in for support/fixing issues

Tips

  • Read the available documentation
  • Don’t be afraid for JSON – code view is still needed especially with new features, but most of the time are soon available in designer and visual studio. Always save or check-in before switching to JSON.
  • Make sure to fully configure your actions, otherwise you cannot save the Logic App
  • Ensure name of action, hard to change afterwards
  • Try to use only one MS account
  • If you get odd deployment results, close / reopen your browser
  • Connections – Live at resource group level. Last deployment wins. Best practices: define all  connection parameters in one Logic App. One connection per destination, per resource group.
  • Default retries – all actions retry 4 additional times over 20s intervals.
  • Control using retry policies
  • Resource Group artefacts – contain subscription id, use parameters instead
  • For each loop – limited to 100000 loops . default to multiple concurrent loops, can be changed to sequential loops
  • Recurrence – singleton
  • User permissions (IAM) – multiple roles exist like the Logic App Contributor, and the Logic App Operator

With that, it was time for the attendees to take a break!

After the break, Duncan Barker from the BizTalk360 team took the stage to thank the wonderful team at BizTalk360 for all their effort in making INTEGRATE 2017 a great success!

Session 4 – BizTalk Server Deep Dive into Feature Pack 1

Tord was given a warm welcome with the song “Rise” by Katy Perry. Tord complimented the welcome by saying how good friends he and Katy Perry are and the story behind how she wrote the song for BizTalk. 🙂

Fun aside, Tord started off the session by saying how BizTalk Server 2016 almost got a pink theme for the icons! :O Just hours before the team was to do the final build for BizTalk Server 2016 Feature Pack 1 release, one of the engineers pointed out the pink stroke on the outside of all icons. The team managed to fix and ship the release.

But, do you know! There is one tiny pixel of pink somewhere in some icon? If you find it, send Tord an email and he will send you a nice gift!

BizTalk Connector in Logic Apps is now Generally Available with Full Support!!!

Microsoft IT team have built a first class project to help migrate easily to BizTalk Server 2016. You can get your downloadable version of the application from the below link. If migration is what is holding you, then make use of this application.

With BizTalk Server, you can do so many things! You can take advantage of the cloud through BizTalk Server. Tord walked through the different features that were released as a part of Feature Pack 1 in detail with some Live Demo.

Session 5 – BizTalk Server Fast & Loud

After that power packed introduction from Daniel Szweda for Sandro Pereira comparing him with Cristiano Ronaldo (who as well hails from Portugal), guess what happened! SANDRO PEREIRA forgot to Turn on his machine to show his presentation :O The IT admin guy at Kings Place almost had to show up 5 – 6 times to get the “problem” solved, and Sandro termed it with the famous word “Jetlag” that was associated with most speakers during any technical issues 😛 🙂 And.. there was a roar when the presentation worked for Sandro! Phew … There goes the BizTalk Wiki Ninja, BizTalk Mapper Man, The Stencil Guy into his session.

Sandro started off his session with this slide

Sandro’s session was more towards BizTalk Server optimization and performance. The points discussed in this session were –

SQL Server

  • Clients still don’t have BizTalk Jobs running
  • Comparing in a Car terminology,
    • BizTalk Server is the Chassis
    • SQL Server is the Engine
    • Hard Drivers is the Tiers
    • Memory is the Battery
    • CPU is the Fuel Injector
    • Network and Visualization Layer is the Exhaust pipe
  • Make sure BizTalk Server and SQL Server Agent jobs are configured and running
  • Treat BizTalk databases as a Black box
  • Size really matters in BizTalk! Large databases impact performance (Eg., MessageBoxDB, Tracking database)
  • Consider to dedicate SQL resources to BizTalk Server
  • Consider splitting the TempDB into multiple data files for better performance

Networking

  • Speed defines everything for this layer
  • At a minimum, you need to have 1 logical disk for data files, 1 for transaction log files, and 1 for TempDB data files
  • Remove unnecessary network
  • Scaling out is not a solution to all problems – sometimes you may also have to scale in to solve a problem!

Session 6 – BizTalk Health Check – What and How?

The last session before lunch was on BizTalk Health Check – What and How? by Saffieldin Ali. BizTalk Health Check is something similar to the MOT Testing that’s performed on vehicles in UK. MOT Testing is a compulsory test for exhaust and emissions of motor vehicles.

In BizTalk, the health check is performed to –

  • Identify symptoms and potential problems before it affects production environment
  • Review critical processes to achieve minimum downtime due to disaster recovery
  • Identify any warnings and red flags that may be affecting users
  • Understanding of common mistakes made by administrators and developers
  • Understand the supportability and best practices

BizTalk Health Check Process

Interviewing

  • Operations Interview (1-1 meetings with admins/dev teams to collect operational view of things)
  • Knowledge Transfer

Collecting

  • Run collection tools (BizTalk Health Monitor etc)
  • Collect informal information (say, I did something wrong last week during an informal discussion)

Analysis and Reporting

  • Run and examine analysis tools results
  • Write and Present final conclusion

BizTalk Health Check Areas

  1. Platform configuration for BizTalk Server
  2. BizTalk Server Configuration
  3. BizTalk Performance
  4. Resilience (High Availability)
  5. SQL Server Configuration for BizTalk Server
  6. Disaster Recovery
  7. Security
  8. BizTalk Application Management and Monitoring

BizTalk Health Check Key Tools

  1. Microsoft Baseline Security Analyser (MBSA)
  2. BizTalk Best Practices Analyser
  3. BizTalk Health Monitor (BHM)
  4. Perf Analysis of Logs (PAL)

Safieldin showed how each of the above products work and how they perform the checks on the BizTalk environment.

It was time for the community to break out for Lunch and some networking before the close of the event in the next couple of hours.

Session 7 – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Hybrid Connectivity by Dan Toomey

The last leg of #Integrate2017 was something quite significant. All the 3 speakers – Daniel Toomey, Wagner Silveira and Martin Abbott are the ones who have flown into London after some long flights. Dan and Martin from Australia (about 20 hours) and Wagner from New Zealand (about 30 hours!).

Post lunch, it was time for Dan Toomey from Australia to take the stage to talk about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Hybrid Connectivity.

Dan started his talk about the types of Azure Virtual Network –

  • Point to Site (P2S) – Something similar to connection when you work from home and connect to corporate network (connect to Citrix/VPN) over the internet
  • Site to Site (S2S) – taking an entire network and joining with another network over the internet
  • ExpressRoute – something like taking a giant cable (managed by someone else) and connecting your corporate network on that.

VNET Integration for Web/Mobile Apps

  • Requires Standard and Premium App Service Plan
  • VNET must be in the same subscription as App Service Plan
  • Must have Point to Site enabled
  • Must have Dynamic Routing Gateway

VNET with API Management

If you have API Management that is sitting in your Virtual Network with access to your Corporate Network gateway, you will get:

  • Added layer of security
  • All benefits of API Management (caching, policies, protocol translation [SOAP to REST], Analytics, etc)

Non-Network based Operations

Azure Relay (an alternate approach) – This is a new offering with Azure Service Bus

    • WCF Relay
    • Hybrid Connections
      • Operates at transport level

On-Premises Data Gateway

  • Generally available since 4th May 2017
  • Acts as a bridge between Azure PaaS and on-prem resources
  • Works with connectors for Azure Logic Apps, Power Apps, Flow and Power BI

Daniel wrapped up his talk by talking about the following business scenarios –

  1. Azure Web/Mobile App to On-Prem
  2. IaaS Server (VM) to On-Prem
  3. SaaS Service to On-Prem
  4. Business to Business
  5. Service Fabric Cluster to On-Prem

To know more about these scenarios that Dan talked about, please watch the video which will be made available soon.

Session 8 – Unlocking Azure Hybrid Integration with BizTalk Server by Wagner Silveira

In this session, Wagner started off his talk speaking about Why BizTalk + Azure, and what BizTalk brings to Hybrid Integration –

  • On-premises adapters
  • Azure adapters
  • Separation of concerns
  • Availability
  • For existing users
    • Leverage investment into the platform
    • Continuity to developers

Wagner talked about the ways in which you can connect to Azure in detail along with some scenarios-

  • Service Bus
  • Azure WCF Relay
  • App Services/API Management
  • Logic Apps

Wagner showed an exciting demo for 2 Line of Business (LoB) systems and finally some tweets coming out of Logic Apps.

Session 9 – From Zero to App in 45 minutes (using PowerApps + Flow) by Martin Abbott

There we were! The last session at #Integrate2017. Obviously not a good feeling being the speaker as you would be closing what was an amazing 3 days of learning and experience. But Martin did a great job in showing the power of PowerApps and Flows and showed how you can build an application in 45 minutes using the combo.

Martin started off his talk talking about Business Application Platform Innovation which is represented in a very nice diagram.

Martin just had 3 slides and it was an action packed session with demo to create an application in under 45 minutes. We recommend you to watch the video which will be available shortly on the event website.

Key Announcement – Global Integration Bootcamp 2018

Martin was one of the organizers of the recently concluded Global Integration Bootcamp event in March 2017. It’s now official that we will have the #GIB event in 2018. The event will happen on 24th March, 2018. You can follow the website http://www.globalintegrationbootcamp.com/ for further updates.

Sentiment Analysis on #Integrate2017

In the Day 1 Recap blog, we had shown some statistics on the sentiment analysis of tweets for hashtag #Integrate2017. Here is one last look at the report at 00:00 (GMT+0530) on June 29, 2017.

And, with that!!! It was curtains down on what has been a fantastic 3 days at INTEGRATE 2017. Well, we are not just done yet! As announced on Day 1 by Saravana Kumar, INTEGRATE 2017 will be back in Redmond, Seattle, USA on October 25-27, 2017. So if you missed attending this event in London, come and join us at Redmond.

We hope you had a great time at INTEGRATE 2017. Until next time, adios!!!

In case you missed it!

Author: Sriram Hariharan

Sriram Hariharan is the Senior Technical and Content Writer at BizTalk360. He has over 9 years of experience working as documentation specialist for different products and domains. Writing is his passion and he believes in the following quote – “As wings are for an aircraft, a technical document is for a product — be it a product document, user guide, or release notes”.

INTEGRATE 2017 – Recap of Day 2

INTEGRATE 2017 – Recap of Day 2

After an exciting Day 1 at INTEGRATE 2017 with loads of valuable content from the Microsoft Pro Integration team, it was time to get started with Day 2 at INTEGRATE 2017.

Important Links – Recap of Day 1 at INTEGRATE 2017,
Photos from Day 1 at INTEGRATE 2017

Session 1 – Microsoft IT journey with Azure Logic Apps by MSCIT team

Day 2 at INTEGRATE 2017 started off with Duncan Barker of BizTalk360 introducing Mayank Sharma and Divya Swarnkar from the Microsoft IT Team. The key highlights from the session were –

    • Integration Landscape at Microsoft has over 1000 Partners, 170M+ Messages per month, 175+ BizTalk Servers, 200+ Line of Business Systems, 1300+ Transforms and a Multi platform that supports BizTalk Server 2016, Azure Logic Apps, and MABS
    • Microsoft IT Team showed why the team were motivated to move to Logic Apps –
      • Modernization of Integration (Serverless Computing + Managed Services, business agility and accelerated development)
      • Manage and Control Costs based on usage
      • Business Continuity
    • The following image shows where the MSCIT team is placed today in terms of number of releases. Microsoft Azure BizTalk Services will be retired by end of July.
    • Microsoft IT team uses Logic App pipeline to process EDI messages coming from partners
    • For testing purposes, Microsoft IT team uses Azure API Management policies to route the message flows to parallel pipelines for testing purposes
    • The team at Microsoft IT uses Operations Management Suite (OMS) for Logic Apps diagnostics. This was briefly covered earlier by Srinivasa Mahendrakar in one of the Integration Monday sessions – Business Activity tracking and monitoring in Logic Apps. Microsoft IT have migrated all their EDI workloads off of MABS and BizTalk and onto Logic Apps.
    • Microsoft IT only uses BizTalk for its adapters to connect to LOB systems, while all processing happens in Logic Apps.
    • Finally, the team shared their learnings while working with Logic Apps
      • Each Logic App has a published limit – make sure you understand what they are
      • Consider the nature of flow you will create with Logic Apps – high throughput or long running workflows
      • Leverage the platform for concurrency (SplitOn vs. ForEach)
      • Understand the structure and behavior of data (batched vs. non-batched)
      • Consider a SxS strategy to enable test in production
      • In Logic Apps, your delivery options are ‘atleast once’ or ‘at most once’ (not ‘only once’)

Jim Harrer was really appreciative and thankful to the Microsoft IT team for making their trip to London to share their experiences.

Session 2 – Azure Logic Apps – Advanced integration patterns

This was one of the most expected sessions on Day 2 at INTEGRATE 2017 with Jeff Hollan (Sir Hollywood) and Derek Li talking about “Advanced integration patterns”. The agenda of the session included talks on –

  • Logic Apps Architecture
  • Parallel Actions
  • Exception Handling
  • Other “Operation Options”
  • Workflow Expressions

The Logic Apps architecture under the hood looks as follows –

An important point to observe is that the ForEach loop in Logic Apps runs the tasks in parallel!

Awesome overview from @jeffhollan @logicappsio on how #LogicApps are executed by the runtime. No thread management needed!!

The Logic Apps designer is basically a TypeScript/React app that uses OpenAPI (Swagger) to render input and output. The Logic Apps designer has the capability to generate Workflow definition (JSON). You can configure the runAfter options via the Logic Apps designer.

This statistic made by Jeff Hollan was probably the highlight of the show

In the history of #LogicApps, there hasn’t been a single run that hasn’t executed at least once.

After a very interesting demo by Derek Li, Jeff Hollan started his talk on Workflow Expressions. An expression is anything but any input that will be dynamic (changes at every run). Jeff explained the different expression properties in a easy to understand way –

@ – Used to indicate an expression. It can be escaped with @@. Example – @foo()

() – Encapsulate the expression parameters – Example – @foo(‘Hello World’)

{} – “Curly braces means string!!!“. This is same as @string() – Example – @add{(1,1)}

[] – Used to parse properties in the JSON objects – Example – @foo(‘JsonBody’) [‘person’][‘address’]

This session from Jon Fancey and Derek Li was well received by the audience at #Integrate2017.

Jon also made the mention about the feature where customers can test the expressions in the designer which is coming soon!

Session 3 – Enterprise Integration with Logic Apps by Jon Fancey

In this session, Jon Fancey started off his presentation by talking about Batching in Logic Apps and how it works –

  • There are basically two Logic Apps – Sender and Receiver
  • Batcher is aware of the Batching Logic App; whereas Batching Logic App is not aware of the batchers (1:n)

What’s coming in Batching?

  1. Batch Flush
  2. Time based Batch release trigger options
  3. EDI Batching

Jon Fancey moved into the concept of Integration Account (IA) and made the mention about the VETER pipeline being available as a template in Azure Logic Apps using Integration Account.

  • Integration Account is the core to XML and B2B capabilities
  • IA provides partner creation and management
  • IA provides for XML validation, mapping and flatfile conversion
  • Provides tracking

Jon listed the Logic Apps enhancements coming soon for working with XML such as:

  • XML parameters
  • Code and functoids
  • Enhancements soon
    • Transform output format (XML, HTML, Text)
    • BOM handling

Jon showed a very interesting demo about how to transform an XML message with C# and XSLT in Logic Apps. You got to wait a little longer till the videos are made available on the INTEGRATE 2017 event website 🙂

Disaster Recovery with B2B, and how it works?

In the final section of his presentation, Jon discussed about the Monitoring and tracking of Azure Logic Apps. This part was covered by Srinivasa Mahendrakar on one of his recent Integration Monday sessions.

Jon showed an early preview (mockup) of the OMS Dashboard for Azure Logic Apps that’s coming up soon. With this, you can perform Operational Monitoring for Logic Apps in OMS with a powerful query engine. You can expect this feature to be rolled out mid-July!

With that, completed the first set of sessions for the morning on Day 2 at INTEGRATE 2017.

Session 4 – Bringing Logic Apps into DevOps with Visual Studio and monitoring by Jeff Hollan/Kevin Lam

Once again, but unfortunately for the last time on stage, it was time for Sir Hollywood Jeff Hollan to rock the stage with his partner Kevin Lam to talk about bringing Logic Apps into DevOps with Visual Studio and monitoring.

The key highlights from the session include –

Visual Studio tooling to manage Logic Apps

  • Hosted the Logic App Designer within Visual Studio
  • Resource Group Project (same project that manages the ARM projects)
  • Cloud Explorer integration
  • XML/B2B artifacts

Make sure you have selected “Cloud Explorer for Visual Studio 2015 and Azure Logic Apps Tools for Visual Studio” these tools in order to be able to use Logic Apps from Visual Studio. It also works on Visual Studio version 2015/2017.

Kevin and Jeff showed the demo of the Visual Studio tooling with a real time example of using Logic Apps in Visual Studio.

Azure Resource Templates

  • You can create Azure Resource Templates that get shipped on to Azure Resource Manager.
    • Azure Resources can be represented and created via programmatic APIs that are available at http://resources.azure.com. This is a pivot to Azure where you are looking at the API version of your resources.
  • Resource templates define a collection of resources to created
  • Templates include –
    • Resources that you want to create
    • Parameters that you want to pass during deployment (for example)
    • Variables (specific calculated values)
    • Outputs

Service Principal

With this, you can get authorization to an application that you create and then say the application has access to the resources.

Jeff wrapped up the session by showing a demo of how the deployment process works, in detail. You can watch the video that will be available in a week’s time on BizTalk360 website for the detailed understanding of the steps to perform a deployment.

With this wrapped up the 1.5 days of sessions from Microsoft on core integration technologies, and what’s coming up from them in the coming months. It was now time for the Integration MVPs to take the stage and show what they’ve done/achieved, or what they can do with the various offerings from Microsoft.

Session 5 – What’s there & what’s coming in BizTalk360 & ServiceBus360 by Saravana Kumar

Saravana was given a “warm” welcome with a nice music and a loud applause from the audience! 🙂 Saravana thanked the entire Microsoft team for their presence and effort at INTEGRATE 2017 over the last 1.5 days.

Key Highlights from Saravana’s session

BizTalk360 Updates

  • BizTalk Server License Calculator
  • Folder Location Monitoring
    • File, FTP/FTPS, SFTP
  • Queue Monitoring
  • Email Templates
  • Throttling Monitoring
  • On-Premise + Cloud features
    • Azure Logic Apps Management
    • Azure Logic Apps Monitoring
    • Azure Integration Account
    • Azure Service Bus Queues (monitoring)

You can get started with a 14-day FREE TRIAL of BizTalk360 to realize the full blown capabilities of the product.

ServiceBus360

Saravana discussed the challenges with Azure Service Bus and how ServiceBus360 helps to solve the Operations, Monitoring and Analytics issues of Azure Service Bus.

You get ServiceBus360 with a pricing model as low as 15$. We wanted to go with a low cost, high volume model for ServiceBus360. You can also try the product for FREE if you are keen on trying the product. If you are an INTEGRATE 2017 attendee, we have a special offer for you that you cannot afford to miss.

With that it was time for the attendees to break for lunch on Day 2 at INTEGRATE 2017. Lots more in store over the remaining 1.5 days!

Post Lunch Sessions – Session 6 – Give your Bots connectivity, with Azure Logic Apps by Kent Weare

We’ll take you through a quick recap of the post lunch sessions on Day 2 at INTEGRATE 2017.

Kent Weare started off his talk about his company and how they are coping up to the business transformation demands from the government and local bodies in Canada. Kent then shows how their company has grown over the years and how much it will mean to them in terms of cost of business transformation. The approach they have taken is by moving towards “Automating Insight, Artificial Intelligence,  Machine Learning, and BOTS”.

Kent then showed why BOTS are gaining the popularity these days – to Improve Productivity! Bots is something very similar to IMs which users are very familiar with.

Kent then stepped into his demo where the concept was as follows –

Kent wrapped up his session with the following summary for companies to take advantage of the latest technology in store these days.

Session 7 – Empowering the business using Logic Apps by Steef-Jan Wiggers

After Kent Weare, Steef-Jan Wiggers took over the stage to talk about Empowering the business using Logic Apps. This talk from Steef-Jan Wiggers was more from the end user/consumer perspective of using Logic Apps.

Steef took a business case of a company called “Cloud First” that wanted to move to the cloud (and chose Azure). All his talk in this session was focussed towards this company who wanted to migrate to cloud with minimal customization and by having a unified landscape. Steef also showed some sentiment around the developer experience with Logic App.

Steef showed a demo that calculates the sentiment of #Integrate2017 (which is exactly something similar folks at BizTalk360 also have tried and reproduced in the Day 1 Recap blog).

After the end of the demo, Steef talked about the Business Value of Logic Apps –

  • Solving business problem first
  • Fit for purpose for cloud integration’
  • Less cost; Faster time to market

Session 8 – Logic App continuous integration and deployment with Visual Studio Team Services

After Steef, Johan Hedberg took the stage to talk about Logic App continuous integration and deployment with Visual Studio Team Services. Johan set the stage for the session by giving a example –

  • Pete is a web developer who loves the Azure Portal and has an amazing time to market. Generally, he is fast but has no process.
  • Charlotte loves Visual Studio. She wants to bring the Logic App from Visual studio with Source control.
  • Bruce is an operations guy. He does not like Pete and Charlotte having direct access to production. He likes to have a process over anything and would want to approve things before it goes out.

Therefore, what all 3 of them are missing is a common process/pipeline of how to perform things such as –

  • Lack of development standards
  • Process standards
  • Security standards
  • Deployment standards
  • Team communication and culture, and more

Therefore, in this session (and demo), Johan shows how users can use continuous integration and deployment with Visual Studio Team Services using Logic Apps.

Sessions 9 & 10 – Internet of Things

In the last two sessions of Day 2 at INTEGRATE 2017, Sam Vanhoutte and Mikael Hakansson talked about Integration of Things (IoT).

Sam Vanhoutte talked about why integration people are forced to build good IoT solutions. He showed the IoT End-to-End value chain with a nice diagrammatic representation.

Then Sam talked about the different points in the Industrial IoT Connectivity challenge. The points are –

  • Direct connectivity (feels less secure)
  • Cloud gateways (easier to start in a cloud setup)
  • Field gateways (feels more secure)

Sam spoke about Azure IoT Edge, the required hardware for Azure IoT Edge and more about flexible business rules for IoT solutions.

Mikael Hakansson started off his IoT talk from where Sam Vanhoutte left the speech, but there came the fun part of the session. Sandro Pereira had to stop Mikael from delivering his presentation and make him wear the “Green” color shirt for losing a bet (well not sure if Mikael was a part of that bet at all and his friends unanimously agreed he lost the bet 🙂 )in a football match. (so did Steef-Jan Wiggers and he was wearing a green shirt too!)

Mikael started off his talk about IoT === Integration and he introduced the concept of Microsoft Azure IoT Hub in detail.

  • Stand-alone service or as one of the services used in the new Azure IoT Suite
  • With Azure IoT Hub, you can connect your devices to Azure:
    • Millions of simultaneously connected devices
    • Per-device authentication
    • High throughput data ingestion
    • Variety of communication patterns
    • Reliable command and control

Mikael gave a very cool demo on IoT with Azure Functions in his usual, calm way of coding while on stage. We recommend you to watch the video to see the effort that has gone behind to prepare for the demo and actually be able to code while presenting the session.

End of the Sessions

At the end of the session, it was curtains down on what promised to be another spectacular day of sessions at INTEGRATE 2017. The team gathered for a lovely photo shoot courtesy photographer Tariq Sheikh.

With that we would like to wrap our exhaustive coverage of Day 2 proceedings at INTEGRATE 2017. Stay tuned for the updates from Day 3. Until then Good night from London!

ICYMI: Recap of Day 1 at INTEGRATE 2017

Author: Sriram Hariharan

Sriram Hariharan is the Senior Technical and Content Writer at BizTalk360. He has over 9 years of experience working as documentation specialist for different products and domains. Writing is his passion and he believes in the following quote – “As wings are for an aircraft, a technical document is for a product — be it a product document, user guide, or release notes”.