QuickLearn Is Excited to Announce the Availability of the Improved Logic Apps Course
July 25th was a big week for Microsoft’s Azure Logic Apps with the announcement that Logic Apps Reaches General Availability, and it was a big week for QuickLearn as well. We have been working for months on honing our expertise with Logic Apps so that we would be ready to deliver the new and improved Cloud-Based Integration Using Azure App Services course in conjunction with Microsoft’s release. This course has been expanded from the original three-day version to a five-day version that includes a full one-day workshop where attendees build a complete integration solution using Logic Apps, Azure Service Bus, and various API App connectors.
Nick Hauenstein and Rob Callaway worked tirelessly over the last few weeks putting the finishing touches on what I have to say is a killer course. The rest of the team provided support in testing and editing but those two did the heavy lifting in truly getting up to speed. Nick did a Herculean job delivering the course to a truly international audience with attendees in London, Sydney and of course our office in Kirkland.
I had the opportunity to attend the class as a student. I have been following the development of Azure App Services as I’m sure many of you have, and felt I had a pretty good handle on how they all work, but I have to admit I came away with a much better idea of how all the parts can work together. Nick has a way of building great scenarios and explaining how the available parts can be used to build a complete integration.
For those of you keeping track, the timing meant that Nick had to shift gears mid-week as Microsoft pushed the GA bits into production. It was interesting to see things work one way in one demo and literally an hour later work a different way!
We also had a real treat when Jeff Hollan, Program Manager for Azure Logic Apps dropped by and spent about an hour talking about Logic Apps and answering questions for the students. Its great being so close to the Microsoft campus, we always appreciate visits from our friends there.
What Does the Future of Integration Look Like?
I wish I had a nickel for every time a student has asked that question in class. It has been puzzling since the story coming out of Redmond has been evolving over the last few years. Fortunately, the story is a good one.
Everyone needs integration. For years if you wanted to build a robust integration solution using .NET, you really only had two options. Start from scratch and build the whole thing yourself, a very time consuming process, or buy BizTalk Server. Although BizTalk is an awesome and powerful product, the learning curve is rather steep and the cost of ownership often high. What was needed was integration for the little guys.
Azure App Service is (becoming) the solution to this problem. Azure App Service is a fully managed platform for web, mobile, and integration scenarios. Our course focuses on connecting your on-premises resources to cloud services such as Service Bus and on building complexity into your solutions via Logic Apps. Although it isn’t a replacement for BizTalk, it shares many of the capabilities and features that BizTalk developers would be familiar with.
Does that mean you don’t need BizTalk anymore? Not at all! BizTalk still provides a very powerful processing engine whether you choose to run it in Azure or on your own hardware. Azure App Services simply provide an option to do some of the things BizTalk is capable of. It is probably best suited for .NET developers who aren’t familiar with BizTalk Server but are looking to integrate with Azure resources.
From time to time I have been asked about how Microsoft Flow fits into all of this. Flow uses the same connectors and services that are built into App Services, it just doesn’t have the ability for developers to extend it using Logic Apps and API Apps. With Flow you are moving into a home that is all furnished for you. With Azure App Services you have the house and a toolbox and a pile of wood to finish it off just the way you want it.
Is This the Right Course for You?
If you happen to be new to integration and are looking for a good place to start, this course is it. On the other hand, if you are an experienced BizTalk developer and you are interested in exploring the future, this is also the course for you. The amount of crossover between the two products is surprisingly small as far as the tools that you use, although of course the concepts will seem very familiar to you.
There are still seats available for the September 19th delivery being presented by Rob Callaway at out Kirkland location (also available for remote attendance). If you are in Europe, you have two opportunities coming up. I will be delivering the class in Oslo Norway with our partner Bouvet on October 24th or you can celebrate Halloween with an American (October 31st) with our partner InfoSupport in Utrecht, Netherlands.