Azure Logic Apps Monthly Update – September 2015

|  Posted: September 28, 2015  |  Categories: Microsoft Azure

Azure Update Sep 2015

In a community driven approach from Microsoft, the Azure Logic Apps team have been conducting a “Google Hangout session” every month to let the community stay up-to-date on their technology developments. This is a nice way for them to reach out and engage with the community to gain feedback of the features. We thought it would be good to write a blog on the event so that it will be useful if you were not able to attend the live Hangout session. This was the fourth session in the series, and we earlier wrote a blog on one of the webcast.

You can take a look at the webcast here. In this session, Jeff Hollan and Kevin Lam from the Azure Logic Apps team talk about the coolest new features that have been added into Logic Apps over the last month.

Add Rich Telemetry To Your SaaS Solutions/Logic App Workflows

Many times, as a tech savvy person, you may be interested to see the workflow, analytics and business insights into your end-to-end process scenarios. With Logic Apps, it is possible to view the Run History, Triggers, Events, and data on how your logic app is actually running with the exact status of each action/trigger. However, if you require to have more detailed insights into the business process, that’s where this cool feature of integrating your Logic Apps with Power BI through Event Hubs/Stream Analytics comes into play. So, whats the big difference here? To understand in a nutshell, let’s say you want to see how many people are talking about the hashtag #msbts on Twitter on every 15 second cycle. All you can do here is to simply integrate Logic Apps with Twitter (using the Twitter Logic Apps Connector) and configure a real-time Power BI dashboard that will show all the analytical information in a single screen. To make this more real time, you can direct the events from the Twitter connector into Azure Event Hubs and then have Stream Analytics to process these events in real-time and pump them into Power BI. And, as Jeff writes, “you don’t have to write a single line of code!”. Sounds interesting? Check out this detailed blog that gives a real time working example of this new feature. The team’s working on simplifying this whole process of integration, so stay tuned for more updates on this in the upcoming months.

Marketplace Connectors

They announced the list of the new connectors that will be made available on the Marketplace soon –

  • Bing Translate
  • Bing Search

GitHub Connectors

In addition to Marketplace connectors, the Azure Logic Apps team have been working hard to get some API connectors, such as –

  • RSS API (to get data from RSS feeds. This includes triggers and actions)
  • SendGrid connector
  • Updates to Azure Event Hub (push your events and get notified when an event is published)
  • Updates to Azure Notifications Hubs

Improvements

Here’s the list of improvements that’s been done to the existing features –

  • Help reference buttons on Designer
    • Say, you’re writing an expression and can’t remember the syntax, simply click the Help button and you’ll be directed to the MSDN forum to look for documentation
  • Trigger Improvements
    • Retry policy support
    • Manual trigger – allows you to call the logic app and add a schema to it manually

What’s Coming Up?

You can expect these new features/functions in the coming months –

  • WebHooks (manual trigger type with schema validation capabilities)
  • Message Tracking (message correlation across multiple runs/Logic Apps) capabilities
  • New Functions
    • encodeURLComponent
    • base64encode

Community Recognition

At the beginning of the session, Jeff credited the efforts of the community members who have been doing a fabulous job in the Azure API apps space. There’s actually a community showcase blog that lists the notable sessions that have happened over the last month. So, 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.

Let’s hope we get to see more exciting updates in the upcoming session(s).

You can watch the full video 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”.

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