Logic Apps is Officially GA + New Features

By Nick Hauenstein

Today the Logic Apps team has officially announced the general availability of Logic Apps! We’ve been following developments in the space since it was first unveiled back in December of 2014. The technology has certainly come a long way since then, and is certainly becoming capable of being a part of enterprise integration solutions in the cloud. A big congratulations is in order for the team that has carried it over the finish line (and that is already hard at work on the next batch of functionality that will be delivered)!

Along with hitting that ever important GA milestone, Logic Apps has recently added some new features that really improve the overall experience in using the product. The rest of this post will run through a few of those things.

Starter Templates

Starter Logic App Templates

When you go and create a new Logic App today, rather than being given an empty slate and a dream, you are provided with some starter templates with which you can build some simple mash-ups that integrate different SaaS solutions with one another and automate common tasks. If you’d still rather roll up your sleeves and dig right into the code of a custom Logic App, there is nothing preventing you from starting from scratch.

Designer Support for Parallel Actions

Ever since the designer went vertical, it has been very difficult to visualize the flow of actions whenever there were actions that could execute in parallel. No longer! You can now visualize the flow exactly as it will execute – even if there are actions that will be executing in parallel!

Parallel Actions

Logic Apps Run Monitoring

Another handy improvement to the visualization of your Logic Apps is the new runtime monitoring visualization provided in the portal. Instead of seeing a listing of each action in your flow alongside their statuses – with tens of clicks involved in taking in the full state of the flow at any given time – a brand new visualizer can be used to see everything in one shot.

The visualization captures essentially the same thing that you see in the Logic App designer, but shows both the inputs and the outputs on each card along with a green check mark (Success), red X (Failure), or gray X (skipped) in the top-right corner of the cards.


Additionally if you have a for each loop within your flow, you can actually drill into each iteration of the loop and see the associated inputs/outputs for that row of data.

For Each Monitoring Visualization

Visual Studio Designer

There is one feature that you won’t see in the Azure portal. In fact, it’s designed for offline use – the Visual Studio designer for Logic Apps. The designer can be used to edit those Logic App definitions that you’d rather manage in source control as part of an Azure Resource Group project – so that you can take advantage of things like TFS for automated build and deploy of your Logic Apps  to multiple environments

Unfortunately, at the moment you will not experience feature parity with the Azure Portal (i.e., it doesn’t do scopes or loops), but it can handle most needs and sure is snappy!

Visual Studio Designer for Logic Apps

That being said, do note that at the moment, the Visual Studio designer is still in preview and the functionality is subject to change, and might have a few bugsies still lingering.

Much More

These are just a few of the features that stick out immediately while using the GA version of the product. However, depending on when you last used the product, you will find that there are lots of runtime improvements and expanded capabilities as well (e.g., being able to control the parallelism of the for each loops so that they can be forced to execute sequentially).

Be Prepared

So how can you be prepared to take your integrations to the next level? Well, I’m actually in the middle of teaching all of these things right now in QuickLearn Training’s Cloud-based Integration using Logic Apps class, and in my humble and biased opinion, it is the best source for getting up to speed in the world of build cloud integrations. I highly recommend it. There’s still a few slots left in the September run of the class if you’re interested in keeping up with the cutting edge, but don’t delay too long as we expect to see these classes fill up through the end of the year.

As always, have fun and do great things!

Azure App Service Logic Apps in Visual Studio 2013 with Azure SDK 2.6

By Nick Hauenstein

As shown today in Ilya Grebnov, and Stephen Siciliano’s Build 2015 Session titled simply “Logic Apps”, there is now (as of the 29th actually) a nice project template for creating a deployment project containing a Logic App with separate per-environment parameters files. The deployment project is really scoped higher than the Logic App itself, it is instead a definition for an Azure Resource Group to be provisioned by Azure Resource Manager.

Azure Resource Group Project Template

Selecting the project template (found in the Cloud category as Azure Resouce Group) launches a dialog asking for the type of resource(s) that you would like the resource group project to start with. There are two resource types that include Logic Apps: Logic App, and Logic App and API App.

Logic App and API App resource selection dialog

Once created, the project (like any other Cloud Deployment Project up to this point) contains a PowerShell script to perform the actual deployment, along with a helper executable named AzCopy.exe. However, in addition to that, we not only get a file describing the deployment of an App Service Plan, Gateway, API App, and Logic App, we also get a parameters file — initially for a dev environment, but it is a step in the right direction and shows how to make it happen.

Resource Group Project Contents

How do we know that this parameters file will be used? Well the parameters file itself is actually a parameter within the Deploy-AzureResourceGroup.ps1 deployment script, and the default is to use dev:


Inside, you will find the parameters apiAppName, gatewayName, logicAppName, and svcPlanName.


The definition for the Logic App itself is contained deep within the LogicAppAndAPIApp.json file (starting around line 271 in my test shown here):

Logic App Definition

It consists of a recurrence trigger (polling very hour) that invokes an operation with id of getValues on the deployed API App and outputs an array containing the value of the readValues property on the body of the API App response. I guess that’s the “Hello World” of the Logic App world, eh?

Code where Code Belongs

This represents a big step in the right direction for the team building Logic Apps. It’s putting code where code belongs, in the best IDE ever made and backed by proper source control. It also cleanly separates logic and configuration, enabling multiple environments.

However, without a visual editor, and an/or an quick/easy way to resolve API App ids from the marketplace, it’s going to be tough to build more complex flows in this fashion. I would also like to see the deployment spread across files. Imagine a resource group with multiple Logic Apps (a receive pipeline style Logic App, a process orchestration-style Logic App and a send pipeline style Logic App), working with that in one giant file would be a little bit painful.

In theory, there is a concept of a definitionLink to the body of the workflow itself (so as to not include it directly within the deployment script), but that’s not what the project template will give you:


That’s All From Build

I know that I wrote a lot for each of the major BizTalk events over the last 6 months, but for Build 2015, I’m going to keep it short and sweet and to the point. I’m juggling a lot of really cool things right now that I’m excited to share with you as soon as they’re ready. So stay tuned!

As a side note, BizTalk Server on-premise is going to be getting some love over the next year as well. Another major version is in the works, and you’d better bet that I’m going to be all over that as well.