Microsoft has announced general availability of Azure Logic Apps, its integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) offering that aims to tie together SaaS and on-premise enterprise applications using an organization’s own rules and business logic.
“[We] want to enable our customers by providing the right tools to deliver services faster and stay ahead of competition,” wrote Frank Weigel, principal director of program management for the company.
Microsoft has previously described its vision of a comprehensive hybrid integration platform, enabling seamless connection between on-premises systems and cloud-native applications, and Logic Apps is key to that vision.
Gartner in March 2016 named Microsoft one of two application platform as a service (aPaaS) leaders alongside Salesforce; but at the time, Gartner described Microsoft as “distracted” by its strategic focus on competing with (among others) Amazon for platform as a service (PaaS), and observed that key App Service capabilities like Logic Apps had yet to materialize more than a year after they were announced.
Nevertheless, here it is.
Microsoft promises that Logic Apps makes it possible to complete projects faster and iterate more efficiently, compared to the tedious integrations of days past. It does so with a “vast set of out-of-the-box connectors” that integrate SaaS applications like Office 365, Salesforce and Dynamics CRM within minutes.
A new visual designer (see graphic) enables users to spend less time coding and more time composing workflows to automate business processes.
Among the connectors available in Logic Apps (not a complete list):
- API/Web App
- Dynamics CRM Online
- Google Drive
Microsoft has further released Enterprise Integration Pack Public Preview in Logic Apps, which enables trading partners to work together and across firewalls using standard enterprise messaging protocols.
Logic Apps takes existing Azure cloud offerings even further
As Weigel described, “[Microsoft makes] it easy to integrate Azure offerings such as Azure IoT Suite, Cortana Intelligence and services such as machine learning and cognitive services with Logic Apps.” Microsoft offers a tutorial on automating email notifications in Logic Apps for when anomalous behavior is detected in an Azure IoT instance.
Logic Apps further works with BizTalk Server to form the core of Microsoft’s “integration story,” alongside its API Management and messaging service (Azure Service Bus).
The company recently released BizTalk Server 2016 Community Technology Preview 2 with numerous new features, including compatibility with current first-party platforms, including (among others):
- Visual Studio 2015
- Windows Server 2016
- SQL Server 2016 and Office 2016
- SQL Server 2016 AlwaysOn Availability Groups and.
Finally, Microsoft promises enhancements to purchasing options of Logic Apps. As of this release, customers may purchase Logic Apps as a standalone service or continue to use current pricing plans such as App Service or IoT Suite.(More information available on the Logic Apps pricing page).