Logic Apps is a new feature on Microsoft Azure- a service which can help users design, build and integrate with 3rd party apps using complex workflows and connectors.  Logic Apps are serverless, which means that no sizing is needed from the user side, the platform will scale itself when needed.


What does serverless mean?

Serverless does not mean that no server exists; there is a server for which no human intervention is needed to handle resources.

Serverless Basic Features

The Serverless architecture is responsible for the following:

  • No Management of Resources
  • Auto-Scale / High Available

Billing - It is important to note that the charges are only for the action executions within a logic app; if the logic app not running, then no charge occurs.

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Logic Apps

Designers

There are two types of Logic Apps Designers :

Components

Logic Apps consist of four main components:

  • Triggers
    • To start a logic app process, you need to define a trigger, such as a Polling, Push, or Recurrence trigger.
  • Actions
    • Actions can be included in a trigger and are responsible to do things inside a logic app
  • Connectors
    • Connectors can also be selected to achieve communication to 3rd party apps
  • Flow Control
    • A Flow control can easily be defined using drag-and-drop to include actions like, do until, for each etc.

Connectors

Connectors are responsible to bridge the communication between the service and 3rd parties. Azure Logic Apps offers over 200 connectors. There are two kinds of connectors :

  • Built-in connectors
    • Built-in connectors include built-in actions and triggers which can be used to create scheduled workflows.
  • Managed connectors
    • Managed connectors include triggers and actions for accessing 3rd parties.

Limits

The limits for a logic app service are described below:

 Name Limit  Notes 
Actions per workflow  500  To extend this limit, you can add nested workflows as needed 
Allowed nesting depth for actions  To extend this limit, you can add nested workflows as needed
 Workflows per region per subscription 1,000   
Triggers per workflow  10  When working in code view, not the designer 
 Switch scope cases limit 25   
Variables per workflow   250   
 Characters per expression 8,192 
 Maximum size for [trackedProperties] 16,000 chars   
 Name for [action] or [trigger] 80 chars   
 Length of [description] 256 chars   
 Maximum [parameters] 50   
 Maximum [outputs] 10   

Pricing

The Logic Apps charges are based on the executed actions. The table below shows the pricing.

  PRICE PER EXECUTION
Actions €0.000022
Standard Connector €0.000106
Enterprise Connector €0.000844
Data retention: €0.11 GB/month 

Integration Account

The integration account gives the opportunity to have Logic Apps B2B / EDI and XML processing capabilities.

  Basic Standard 
XMLMaps 50 500 
XMLSchemas 50 500 
EDI Trading Partners 2 500 
EDI Agreements 1 500
 Price / Hour € 0,35 € 1,16

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Logic Apps Demo Example

In the following demo, suppose that we need to sync One Drive files to an Azure Storage Blob container and, after the sync is successful, to send an email to the IT department team.

Prerequisites

  • O365 account
    • Enable One Drive service
  • Azure Subscription
    • Create Azure Storage Account with a blob container
    • Create Azure Logic App
  • Gmail account

Create O365 Account

For this demo, we have an existing O365 account with One Drive Service enabled, and it's not necessary to create a new one.

If we need to set up a new account, please check the following links:

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Create Azure Subscription

Microsoft gives the opportunity to create a free trial account with €170 credit, 12 months free services, 25 services always free.

Please click here to create your Azure free account.

Create Azure Storage Account with blob container

Following the steps below, we will deploy an Azure Storage Account with a blob container for the demo purposes.

Step 1: Search for the "Storage account - blob, file, table, queue service

From the main blade click the button + Add, search for the storage service and click Create.

Step 2: Create the storage account

Fill in all the necessary fields, as shown in the image below, and click Create.

Azure Blob storage: Hot, cool, and archive storage tiers 

Step 3: Create storage container

The storage account was created, and now we need to create the container. To do this, at the main Storage account blade click Blobs.

Click button [+Container] , type the Container name and click [Create]

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Create the Azure Logic App

Step 1: Search for the Azure Logic App Service

From the main blade click the [+Add] button and type "Logic Apps" to search the service.

Step 2: Create the Logic App

Click  the [Create] button, and fill in the necessary fields, like the following image, and click [Create]

Step 3: Create the trigger

From the left blade, select Logic App Designer and from the right form click on trigger "When a new file is created on One Drive", like the next image shows.

Step 4. Logic App design

The image below describes the exact steps to design the Logic App,
  1. First Step - One Drive  --> Action: When a file is created
  2. Second Step - Azure Blob Storage --> Action: Create Blob
  3. Third Step - Gmail --> Action: Send email

We are now ready to click the button [Run], and the service will check the trigger for new data.

Test the Logic App

To test the Azure Logic App, we must do the following:

  1. Create a new file on the One Drive account
  2. Check the Azure storage container for a new blob
  3. Check Gmail account for a new email
We can see the results of this demo in the image below:

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Conclusion

Microsoft continues to impress us with the new services it offers.  In this post, we discussed a specific service (Azure Logic Apps) which can be used by all types of teams (DevOps, ITs, Developers). This service makes the integration between different environments a piece of cake. The only skill required to achieve this is basic analytical thinking.

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Useful Links

 

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