Global Integration Bootcamp 2017

By Nick Hauenstein

The Global Integration Bootcamp was held for the first time this last week, events spanning 12 countries, 16 locations, with over 650 attendees. If you went to either the Seattle, WA location (here at QuickLearn Training’s headquarters), or the New York location, then you may have even ran into one of our instructors!

Global Integration Bootcamp 2017 Locations

Seattle Bootcamp Recap

In the weeks leading up to the day of the bootcamp, Tom Canter with Phidiax arranged a speaker line-up, refreshments, and got the word-out about the event; while over here at QuickLearn Training, we prepared to transform our classrooms into an event space. When the day arrived, all were in good spirits and ready to share knowledge, and get deep into real-world possibilities for hybrid cloud integrations using BizTalk Server and Logic Apps.

Tom Canter presenting at Global Integration Bootcamp

Tom kicked off the event with a keynote and introductions, and got everyone primed and excited for the day. Next up was Tord showing off some of the latest greatest features in BizTalk Server 2016 when used in concert with API Management along with a few surprises Winking smile. I’m not sure what I’m allowed to share and what I’m not, so I will just leave that short, sweet, and to the point.

Gyanendra Gautam teamed up with Ashish Bhambhani (co-authors of the freshly published Robust Cloud Integration with Azure) to show some really slick B2B scenarios with Logic Apps and the Enterprise Integration Pack. Trading Partner and Agreement configuration were shown, along with a special surprise that no one had ever seen before – the world’s smallest X12 834 interchange! It was both a fun and informative session, and if you haven’t at the very least experimented with EDI in Logic Apps – do it. You’ll find your BizTalk Server experience in the same will serve you quite well.

I was up next, wearing a contraption to be explained at a later date. The focus of my talk was to demystify machine learning – and to demonstrate that it’s not just for the sexy applications (e.g., self-driving cars, HoloLens, whatever it is that I’m wearing, etc…). I spent the bulk of my session walking through a simple Hello Azure ML world demo that showed how one could train, operationalize, and then call Azure ML models from within Azure Logic Apps. It is my intention to further refine the models used in this talk and share the full talk, sample code, hardware diagrams, etc. in the summer of 2017.

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After I was carted away in a straight jacket, Richard Seroter gave a really cool talk on the intersection between microservices and messaging – and how when using both, one can realize seamless multi-cloud scenarios. It was a very well executed talk with fairly complex demos involving node.js services, java services (built using Spring Boot),  and Logic Apps.

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Undeterred by a ruthless cold that had claimed his voice, Jeff Hollan gave an excellent talk on the concept of serverless applications. He opened with an analogy comparing owning/renting/hiring a car with the equivalent on the server-side. He then looked to where serverless would lead the development of applications (i.e., API composition).

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Kevin Lam wrapped up the day by going through a list of Enterprise Integration Patterns and the implementation required to make it happen on the Logic Apps side. He also addressed how to increase throughput for Service Bus connections, how to control parallelism, advanced scheduling and other fun goodies that I will likely put to quick use (and maybe follow-up with some blog posts on later). One thing did come as quite the surprise though – Sequential Convoys!

It was a great time, and I hope to be able to share more when I can. Thanks to everyone who attended, and I really hope you all had as great of a time as we did.

Other Locations

QuickLearn Training’s offices were just one of many locations for the event. Below is a short gallery of photos gathered from Twitter of other venues.

Belgium

Brisbane

Chicago

Finland

London

Melbourne

New York

(I haven’t been able to find a picture with the camera pointed the other way, but I get it, @wearsy is a model now after all).

New Zealand

Oslo

Portugal

Rotterdam

Sweden

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.

monitoring

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!