Enable Hybrid Cloud Using Azure Logic Apps and Azure Functions
If you think hybrid integrations on the Azure cloud are a heck of a task, you’re wrong.
As recently as a few years ago, tech leaders and developers viewed Microsoft Azure cloud as a limited solution, appropriate only for cloud-based workflows and automations. On the other hand, existing hybrid integration services such as Anthos or Mulesoft cost more than tech executives can justify.
Introducing the concept of hybrid cloud integration using Azure Logic Apps and Azure Functions.
Features of Azure Logic Apps and Azure functions
By increasingly blending applications on cloud and on-premises into automated hybrid cloud configurations, IT leaders can prevent disruption from meeting sensitive and mission-critical applications. All this with Azure Logic Apps and Azure Functions. Let’s know their features.
|Features||Azure Logic Apps||Azure functions|
|Connectivity||Schedule, automate and orchestrate business processes and workflows to integrate data, systems and enterprise applications||Trigger, input and output bindings to connect other Azure computing services such as Event Hubs, Storage and DocumentDb|
|Exception Handling||Configure automatic trials on every workflow||Introduce 3rd party applications for exceptions|
|Networking||Connect to on-premises resources using On Premises Data Gateway | Azure uses the Azure Service Bus Relay service||Choose between Hybrid Connections, App Service Environment and VNET Integration for networking
While there is some overlap between the features of Azure Logic Apps and Azure Functions, they are two different event-driven Azure services that can be used for hybrid integrations.
With this host of Azure’s serverless PaaS offerings, developers can create a core integration engine-orchestration system that can handle real-time application integration consuming microservices at scale.
Easing hybrid integration with Azure Logic Apps and Azure Functions
By now, our experience dealing with hybrid integrations between applications on the basis of logical reasoning have shown that, irrespective of the platform or workload nature, complex functions can be performed and that, depending on the requirements, a series of events can be triggered based on the outputs. All this using Azure Logic Apps and Azure Functions. Let’s know how they work.
How it works?
Call Azure functions from Logic Apps or vice versa, a certain piece of serverless computing code can be run as a function between logically integrated applications.
Let’s try to create a hybrid integration between three consumer banking CRM applications with Azure Logic Apps and Azure Functions.
In a banking scenario, the customer data is to be updated, nurtured and scheduled for personalised offers. On the Microsoft Azure platform, this represents a clear case of logical integration between 3 applications: marketing platform, CRM and sales hub.
In the above example, the current customer data from Azure Data Factory is transmitted through Azure SQL Data Warehouse for a new query. Next, fresh data is acquired through an integration using Azure Logic Apps that connects with a Customer Data Azure function to compute resources inherited from the leading CRM platform Microsoft Dynamics. Finally, when the workflow is executed, the data is updated in the repository and categorized in the Azure Logic Apps for future marketing campaigns.
In a similar manner, an application integration practice allowed a bank to save 15% effort hours on manual workflows and discovered new avenues of real-time customer data. Further, the bank has already integrated machine learning resources to the same workflow for personalising offers customer loyalty programs.
The use of Azure Logic Apps in combination with Azure functions is not defined by bounds of workloads or platforms. Thus, the resulting integrations can be hybrid across all levels of enterprise information. Cloud natives, for instance, have been able to automate multiple core operations in product development and service delivery.
Examples of IT cases with Azure Logic Apps and Azure functions
- Cognitive Services: Accelerate decision-making into your apps on Azure functions and automate integrations using Azure Logic Apps. Some applications include machine vision, machine speech, learning and perception, and decision-making commands.
- Azure Bot Service: Integrate applications to bot responses seamlessly. Pull critical levers of digital business into action as consumers demand real-time experience.
- Azure Kubernetes Service and Azure Container Instances: Orchestrate functions based on microservices, create workflows that support containerization efforts.
- Hybrid and Azure Security Centre: Monitor updates and VMs, optimize resource usage and verify compliance easily. Some applications include security for IoT applications using Leaf devices and Edge devices.
- Azure IoT Edge, Azure IoT Hub, Azure Time Series Insights: Automate all cloud deployments on local edge devices and on-premises servers. Easily authenticate application integrations through real-time insights and alerts.
This list of use cases is drawn on our experience working on end-to-end cloud modernization projects. We have learnt and compiled such cases of hybrid cloud enablement using Azure Logic Apps and Azure functions that take business innovation to the next step.
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