I’m playing around with Azure Logic Apps at the moment and I have to say that they are very powerful and easy-to-use!
It’s really easy to get started creating a simple logic app since the Logic App Designer has an intuitive graphical user interface, and there are hundreds of built-in connectors available out-of-the-box to enable you to integrate with all of your favourite Microsoft software such as Office 365 Outlook, Dynamics 365, SharePoint, OneDrive but also pretty-much everyone else’s too (Twitter, Facebook, SalesForce, Box, IBM DB2, Dropbox and many more). You can also connect to other Azure resources within your subscription.
See my post on Serverless Computing using Functions and Logic Apps for an example of doing just that.
Anyway, I got to thinking about how you would create and manage a Logic App in a ‘real-world’ production scenario where you may have teams of people developing and maintaining the apps, and you need to think of issues like version control, deployment to multiple environments, security/access control and so on.
It turns out that, as with most things on Azure, ARM Templates are your friend! Azure Logic Apps can be defined in an ARM Template and deployed to any Azure Resource Group using the same methods you use to deploy other Azure resources e.g. PowerShell, Azure CLI etc.
As for developing the Logic Apps themselves, and handling version control, change management etc. Microsoft has built an extension for Visual Studio (both 2015 & 2017) to help you to create your Logic App and deploy it to Azure directly from within the IDE. In this post, I want to walk through creating a simple Logic App and deploying it to Azure using Visual Studio.
Our simple logic app will monitor Twitter for new tweets matching a specific hashtag and then save the tweet content to a file on OneDrive.
What do we need?
Before getting started you need to make sure you have an active Azure subscription, Visual Studio 2017 installed on your local machine, and a network connection between the two.
Step 1 – Installing the Visual Studio Logic Apps Extension
The first thing we need to do is install the Logic Apps extension into Visual Studio.
- Go to https://marketplace.visualstudio.com and search for “logic apps tools“.
- Select Azure Logic Apps Tools for Visual Studio 2017 and download it to your machine.
- Make sure you also have the specified prerequisites installed (Azure SDK & Azure PowerShell).
- If you already have Visual Studio running you will need to close it and restart it after the installation completes.