Azure Logic Apps Local Data Integration

Azure Logic Apps is a new Microsoft SaaS offering to build powerful solutions for business processes, workflows, and data integration in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Azure Logic Apps can be integrated with 100+ widely used local and cloud-based IT-systems like SQL/ERP/CRM codelessly using the Layer2 Cloud Connector via the new Layer2 Data Provider for Azure Logic Apps and Flow.

Azure Logic Apps integration with SQL/ERP/CRM and 100+ more

The Layer2 Cloud Connector comes with a new Layer2 Data Provider for Azure Logic Apps. The data provider allows to start workflows in an Azure Logic App via a HTTP post on any data change in a connected local or cloud-based data source like e.g. a SQL database, ERP/CRM system or other.
 
layer2-cloud-connector-azure-logic-apps-600.png 
 
Fig.: 100+ local and cloud-based data sources are supported via the Layer2 Cloud Connector to start a workflow in Azure Logic Apps when new items are created, items are changed, or items are deleted in a connected app.
 
  • 100+ widely used IT-systems and apps are supported to start logic apps workflows, like SQL databases, ERP, CRM systems. The data sources can be cloud-based, or even be local.
  • No changes or administrative rights are required in the connected IT systems.
  • No need to open your network for access from outside.
  • The Layer2 Cloud Connector can be installed locally or in the Azure Cloud (requires Windows VM).
  • It runs as a Windows Service to take a look at the data changes in the connected systems and start Azure Logic Apps workflows as defined on insert, update or delete operations in the connected systems.
  • A JSON schema of the data source is provided automatically to add to the Azure Logic App for field mapping and other operations.
  • The inserted, updated or deleted data item or record is posted to the Azure Logic App for any further processing.
  • Calculations, transformations, translations and business logic can also be added directly in the Layer2 Cloud Connector using Dynamic Columns in C#, if required.
  • The Layer2 Cloud Connector comes with a sample connection that starts an Azure Logic Apps workflow on changes in a XML file.
  • Actions in the Azure Logic App can be triggered scheduled or on-demand as set in the Cloud Connector Connection Manager, e.g. every 10 minutes.

Azure Logic Apps Specific Settings

​In this example we want to start an Azure Logic Apps workflow on local XML data changes. Please copy your Layer2 Cloud Connector sample connection and adapt it as required.

 

layer2-azure-logic-apps-sample-connection.png 
 
Fig.: Layer2 Cloud Connector sample connection to adapt for evaluation.

 

Please configure your data source first. In this case the sample data source is a local XML file, but can be any supported data source. The Layer2 Data Provider for XML is used to query an XML file via XPath. Please note the primary key (column with unique values) in the result set. It is required for data sync. You can also make use of several columns that are unique together, e.g. Col1, Col2, Col3.

 

layer2-cloud-connector-data-source-xml.png 
 
Fig.: Layer2 Cloud Connector sample data source (XML file)
 
Next let's configure the Azure Logic Apps data destination. Please select the Layer2 Data Provider for Azure Logic Apps for this. You will need a Web Hook Url for this (see below how to get it). Please also provide a symbolic SQL-like data query for data mapping and to declare data types, and a primary key. The SQL query is also used to generate and display a JSON schema of your data items required for the Azure Logic App.

You can use a notation similar to this:

Select ProductID: integer, ProductName, SupplierID:integer, UnitPrice:float

If you don't add any data type string is assumed by default. Please take a look into the User's Guide for more data types.

 
layer2-cloud-connector-data-destination-azure-logic-apps.png 
 
Fig.: Azure Logic Apps data destination configured in the Layer2 Cloud Connector.
 

 

 

layer2-cloud-connector-provides-json-schema-for-azure.png 
 
Fig.: The Layer2 Cloud Connector provides the JSON schema of the data source as required in Azure Logic Apps to connect to the data source and map fields.
 
 
layer2-cloud-connector-azure-logic-apps-data-mapping.png 
 
Fig.: make use of the data mapping section to map the data source columns (from XML) to the data destination (Azure Logic Apps) in this sample.

 

Next create your Azure Logic App as follows:

 

azure-logic-apps-http-post.PNG 
Fig.: Configure the Azure Logic Apps HTTP POST end-point.

 


You will find the web hook url in the definition of the HTTP Post. Also paste your JSON schema to the request body section. Now you are ready to add some specific logic. In this sample we will send an email notification via Azure Logic App if the number of units in stock is below the reorder level in the local data source.

 

add-business-logic-in-azure-logic-apps.png 
 
Fig.: Apply a logical expression in Azure Logic Apps based on the changed local data record.

 azure-logic-apps-send-email-notification.png

Fig.: Select the "Send an email" action from the actions offered by Azure Logic Apps.

 

You can configure the email based on the local data source record as provided by the Layer2 Cloud Connector.


 

email-notification-send-by-azure-logic-apps.png 
 
Fig.: Sample email configuration to send notifications in Azure based on local data changes.

 

You are now ready to run your Layer2 Cloud Connector connection as usual, manually (using the Run Toolbox for testing), on-demand (using the command line) or scheduled (using the Windows service). If your condition is true, you will receive the following email from your connected Azure Logic App:


 

email-received-from-azure-logic-apps.png 
 
Fig.: Sample email, received from Azure Logic Apps if the condition is true on local data changes via the Layer2 Cloud Connector.

Please check your SPAM folder, if you don't receive emails as expected from Azure.

 

Azure Logic Apps integration - Known Issues and Workarounds

  • With the current release you can push local or cloud-based data changes to Azure Logic Apps.
  • Receiving data changes from Azure Logic Apps is still not supported with the current release of the Layer2 data provider for Azure Logic Apps. This feature is planned for future releases, depending on customer demands.
  • Microsoft Flow is now fully supported via HTTP Post end-point.
  • Note that some actions in Azure Logic Apps / Flow are still Beta and should not be used in production.
  • Data updates can be started manually in the Layer2 Cloud Connector Connection Manager, per command line or scheduled in background by the Layer2 Cloud Connector Windows Service. Only data changes are sent to Azure / Flow.
  • No programming required to setup a connection. No need to open your local network for access from outside. No need to modify the connected systems.
  • For more detailed setting options please take a look at the Layer2 Cloud Connector User's Guide.

Some ideas to connect 100+ Data Sources to Microsoft Azure Logic Apps

Next Steps for Evaluation

You can register to download and evaluate the Layer2 Cloud Connector here.​
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