Getting Started with Logic App Standard | Overview of Logic App Standard | Basics of Logic App Standard

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Introduction

Microsoft BizTalk server have been leader in the integration space for long time, however there was shift from having applications running on premise to applications running in the cloud.

Sensing the need of integration around this booming market of SAAS, Microsoft came up with a cloud based integration service called "Microsoft BizTalk Service" .

But it's life was very short and was discontinued.

New Integration platform as a service was introduced by Microsoft - Logic App.

Microsoft announced  General Availability(GA) on 27th July 2016 and it was not as a replacement to BizTalk Server rather a complimentary offering.

It is a multi-tenant offering in the cloud, which can be used to create a workflow which has capability to interact with various SAAS applications as well as on premise applications, however it can be run only in cloud.

It is a PaaS Offering. Specifically Logic App is a fully managed iPaaS (integration Platform as a Service) solution which allows developers to build highly scalable workflows and will automatically scale to meet demand.

It is growing and getting better and better day by day with new features /capabilities  getting added continuously.

If you are into BizTalk and considering to have look at Logic App, read following post to get insights - BizTalk Developer getting started with Logic App



When was Logic App standard introduced


Microsoft announced General Availability(GA) of Logic App standard on 25th May 2021.





What issues does Logic App Standard addresses

There are three issues/scenarios which I think might have led Microsoft to think of Logic App Standard

1. Multitenancy 

Logic app under consumption plan is multi-tenant. Services running in multi-tenant share the infrastructure/environment.

Although logically they are isolated from each other but physically they are integrated.

However, another offering from Microsoft addressing this issue is ISE(Integrated service environment).

2. Government/Country or Organization policies 

Many organizations/Government/Countries have various policies around

  • the application should reside in same region
  • application should be executed within organization network or within specific region
  • the data stored should be within region, no cross region allowed

3. Existing BizTalk customers need 

Existing BizTalk customers have been running the integration solutions on premise and many have made huge investment. 

However, as BizTalk Support end date is approaching and due to the ask of digital transformation, many organizations are planning or have to plan migration to new integration solutions.

And many are reluctant to move to Logic app consumption which is multi-tenant i.e., Infrastructure having other's logic app sharing it as there is less control and possibility of issues due to other's implementation. 

Yes, ISE (Integration Service Environment) is an option but it's bit on expensive side.




Features of Logic App Standard


With below mentioned features Logic App Standard addresses the above issues and many more.

Single tenant

Logic app runtime is redesigned as single tenant runtime - it as an extension on top of Azure Function Runtime.

So most of the capabilities/features which Azure functions gets because of Azure function runtime are passed on to Azure Logic apps as well like - Integrated support for virtual networks and private endpoints.

Run Anywhere


A new single tenant runtime designed is made portable which allows logic apps to run in a dedicated compute in Azure or any cloud or  Docker or Kubernetes environment or Azure App Service, even in on premise with help of Azure Arc.

Multi workflow support

Like Azure Function App which can have multiple Azure functions, likewise Logic App standard can have multiple workflow in it.

So here there is 1(Logic App) - Many(Workflow) relationship.

No Integration Account Required

In case of Enterprise application Integration or B2B there is need to upload schemas, map, agreements, partner profile etc. 

For that a separate service - Integration Account is needed in case of consumption plan, also in ISE.

Here the dependency on Integration Account is ruled out.

Support for Statetful and Stateless workflows

Logic app standard supports both the type of workflows - Stateful and stateless workflow.

State of workflow is nothing but tracking the metadata of workflow and data passing through it, action's input and output etc.

Stateful workflow - In this workflow state is stored in an external storage which you configure. (In consumption plan it is implicit).

Stateless workflow - In this workflow state is maintained in memory, till the execution completes, maximum to 5 minutes.

And both types of workflow can be part of a single Logic App.

Support for Local development and debugging


The Logic Apps Standard plan supports local development on Windows, Linux and Mac, offers a new layout engine that supports complex workflows, and enables custom connector extensions.

We can create an automated integration workflow that runs in the single-tenant Azure Logic Apps environment by using Visual Studio Code with the Azure Logic Apps (Standard) extension.

Also we can locally run and test logic app workflows in the Visual Studio Code development environment.

For local development in Visual Studio Code, a local data store need to be setup for your logic app project and workflows to use for running in your local development environment. 

We can use and run the Azurite storage emulator as the local data store.

Storage account 


When you create a single-tenant Standard logic app resource, you're required to have a storage account for storing logic app artifacts, state etc.

Data resides in a Region

Data stays in the same region in which the Logic App is deployed to.


Predictable Cost

Pricing tiers are created, which is combination of memory and vitualCPU (vCPU).

There are plans available, currently  only the Workflow Standard(WS) hosting plan is available for the Logic App Standard resource type

Pricing tierVirtual CPU (vCPU)Memory (GB)
WS113.5
WS227
WS3414

So, costing does depend on the plan you choose and the region selected.

Note that the cost of the external storage you use with Logic App Standard is charged separately.


Summary


Through the post we tried to get an understanding as to 

  • What is Logic App standard 
  • Probable issues which lead to Logic App Standard as solution
  • What are the features of Logic App Standard

So now the question should pop up in your mind, which one to go for?

It is for sure that both are going to stay as both are catering to different use cases.

Each option has its own benefits and is targeted for different scenarios and workloads.


To decide try to answer following questions


Are there any restrictions which you need to follow ie.any 
government/company policies etc
 - If yes, then options to choose from are ISE or Logic App Standard

If no, then where you want to execute your workflow - on cloud or Anywhere? 
-If anywhere the Logic App Standard, if on cloud then are you ok sharing the underlying infrastructure? 

If yes then Logic app consumption else ISE or Logic App standard.

And the most important is to check on budget - which one would cost less based on the volume of transactions, no of actions executions etc.

For that take help of Pricing calculator.


If you think I missed any important point then feel free to comment about it.



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