Integrate 2022

INTEGRATE 2022 – Day 2 Recap

BizTalk360

Events

Jun 14, 2022

Table of contents

  1. Event Grid Deep dive
  2. Solutions in the Power Platform
  3. Azure Functions/App Platform Deep Dive(Session cancelled)
  4. Managing the lifecycle of your Logic Apps
  5. Unlock Dynamics365 with Azure Integrating Services
  6. What’s new in BizTalk360 v10 and later
  7. Building Hybrid Integration Solutions with BizTalk Server 2020
  8. Top 10 tips to secure your integration solutions
  9. How can I make it easier to support my Integration Platform with Serverless360

With Day 1 of the event rolled up, the platform was all set for the next day of the event.

Day 2 of INTEGRATE 2022 has been a roller-coaster experience for the attendees with some amazing sessions, power packed demos, and certainly, loads of updates from the Microsoft Product Team and MVPs.

Fasten your seat belts as we’ll take you through all the significant updates and highlights on Day 2 of INTEGRATE 2022.

#1: Event Grid Deep dive – (Javier Fernandez)

Javier Fernandez started the session with a recap of Clemens’s session from DAY 1 of INTEGRATE 2022. He discussed the core concepts like discrete events and data point series and then explained the operational structure of an Event Grid.

Event Grid

Following the description of each concept, Javier moved into the real-time requirements and use cases where an Event Grid can be utilized. Below are the primary use cases discussed,

  • The system announces state changes – Event Grid Topics
  • The system announces state changes at scale easily – Event Grid Domains
  • SaaS system announces state changes – Event Grid Partner Events
  • Azure services announce state changes – Event Grid System Topics

Later, he jumped on to the primary use case about Event Grid on Kubernetes. In this session, he discussed the Intra-cluster Integration with Event Grid.

Event Grid Integration

There was a quick highlight on the recent releases for Event Grid,

Major Releases

  • Event Grid Landing Page
  • New events sources through Microsoft Graph API
  • Updates

Coming Soon

  • Partner events General Availability
  • SAP application events (private preview)

Roadmap

Roadmap

There was a demo presented on the Azure AD’s user update, explaining Graph API’s capabilities, Partner Topic, and Event Subscriptions.

Azure AD's user updated

The session was concluded with a reach-out link for consultancy on Event Grid usage and an interactive Q&A session.

#2: Solutions in the Power Platform – (Steve Jeffery)

Steve Jeffery presented the session on Solutions in the Power Platform. He mainly focused on site maps, tables, processes, web resources, choices, flows, and more. This helps the customers to bring in an enterprise solution to manage the applications.

Agenda

  • Get Familiar with app patterns
    • App types, Components
    • Understand common app architectures and solution composition
  • Architecting solutions in the Power Platform
    • Understanding environments
    • Security
    • Data Locations
    • Working with Data
    • Microsoft Data verse
    • Platform and service limits
    • On-premises data gateway
    • Analytics
    • Performance considerations and common issues
    • Summary and Useful stuff
    • Power Platform

Steve walked us through the App types with its model-driven app along with the following features:

  • Data verse data-driven
  • Data relationship navigation
  • Consistent UI
  • Security trimming of UI
  • Responsive UI
  • Consistent accessibility
  • User personalization
  • End-user tooling
  • Back/mid-office and process-focused

Common Patterns

When deciding on which app types to use, you should be aware that a solution will typically have multiple apps of different types. The common patterns are:

  • Model-driven: administration of data and processes
  • Canvas: end user-focused
  • Power pages: Externally facing portal for non-users

Components

Components are important because they promote reuse, enabling multiple makers to collaborate on multiple parts of a canvas app at the build stage.

Components Solution composition

Environments and environment locations

An environment is a space to store, manage and share business data, apps, and flows.

Components

Security Layers

A solution will consist of multiple security roles if data verse – Security roles which will access tables and rows in data verse which is controlled by security roles. Licensing, Data loss prevention policies, Azure AD, and encryption should be considered as well.

environment locations

Plan, Scale and maintain gateway clusters

By doing these, one should know all your gateways recovery keys and separate the development and business-critical workloads. It is recommended to have multiple gateway clusters, based on business unit or smaller to limit the potential business impact.

Analytics

Analyze telemetry of canvas app using application Insights which will help you diagnose issues and understand what users are doing with your app. You can create a custom trace using the Trace() function.

Optimizing Solutions

Security Layers

Summary

  • Steve spoke briefly about the importance of analytics and performance monitoring insights.
  • App Insights especially for canvas apps for tracking the popularity of a feature.
  • Power Platform Architecture and its significance.

#4: Managing the lifecycle of Logic Apps – (Samuel Kastberg)

Samuel Kastberg, Principal consultant at Solidify, one of the speakers at Integrate gave a delightful session on the much-needed topic “Managing the lifecycle of Logic Apps”. The agenda of the session looked as seen below:

Logic Apps lifecycle

Samuel started the session with the infrastructure which represents three different areas, operations specialist, developer, and integration specialists.

infrastructure

Built-in and Azure connectors

He explained how built-in connection works in standard (single-tenant) and consumption (multi-tenant)

Built-in and Azure connectors

Structure of components

Samuel mentioned the differences between application and infrastructure and how it helps in day-to-day activities. He depicted the workflows and built-in connections in action.

Structure of components

Creating Managed connections with Bicep

When you’re going to create connections, you need to know what you need, for example, Microsoft.Web/connections. Pass an API call and then create a connection in the portal. He further added about how you can integrate Twilio and manage them in Visual Studio code.

Connections.json

This established metadata for both Built-in and Azure connections. It contains development data:

  • Connection keys expire after 7 days
  • 403 error

There are two types of valid expressions

  • @appsetting
  • @parameters

Connections with Visual Studio Code

Local.settings.json shows what connection we are currently using. This is the first step in connection with Visual Studio Code.

Pipelines

Pipelines Manage logic apps

Samuel then demonstrated how users can generate connections with Bicep and how to connect in Visual Studio Code.

Finally, he summarized the session with some of the additional resources related to Bicep

GitHub repository – https://github.com/skastberg/Integrate -2022

Bicep at Microsoft Learn – https://docs.microsoft.come/en-us/learn/browse/?terms=Bicep

#5: Unlock Dynamics365 with Azure Integrating Services – (Steef-Jan Wiggers)

Steef-Jan Wiggers, Technical Architect at HSO started the session on “Unlock Dynamics365 with Azure Integrating Services”

D365

  • Microsoft offers Dynamics as a Customer Relation Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Management software for industry verticals such as manufacturing, healthcare, finance, and retail.
  • With D365, enterprises can streamline administrative processes in their sales, marketing, and service divisions with CRM or unify and automate business by leveraging ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning

ERP is:

  • A process of managing all resources (business function application) and their use in the entire enterprise in a coordinated manner
  • A series of integrated business applications or modules that perform standard business functions such as general ledger, sales forecasting, etc…
  • Supporting the business through optimization, maintaining, and tracking business functions: HR, financial, manufacturing, retail, etc.

A Typical Integration Landscape looks like –

Azure Integration services

EAI Options D365 FSCM

  • OData
  • Custom Webservices
  • Recurring Integrations
  • Business Events

OData

  • OData is an open-source protocol for serving and consuming interoperable data via Representational State Transfer (REST) – full APIs using everyday query operations – create, read, update, and delete (CRUD).
  • Uses web technologies like HTTP and JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) to access data from various entities
  • D365FSCM exposes all its public data entities as OData endpoints:

[your organization’s root URL]/data/

OData

Here is an example of Recurring Integration –

Recurring Integration

Example – Business Event –

Business Event

Other Options:

  • Consuming External Web Services
  • Bring Your Own Database (BYOD) -> Data Lake
  • Data Events
  • Entity Store
  • Dual Write

Real-World OData –

Real-World OData Comparison

Key Takeaways:

  • There are multiple ways to integrate; therefore, pick the right choice based on the volume!
  • Think of supporting the integrations from the start of the project
  • Do not overlook governance and security aspects.
  • Integration with D365 is challenging. Do not understand it.
  • Multiple skills are required and the setup of a team.

#6: What’s new in BizTalk360 v10 and later – (Saravana Kumar)

Saravana Kumar – CEO of Kovai.co, and Founder of the product – BizTalk360 started the session with an introduction about himself and how his interest has pushed him to develop a product named “BizTalk360”.

Why did we build BizTalk360?

There are some pain points in Microsoft BizTalk Server which Saravana himself found from his experience in working with the product as a BizTalk consultant for 10 long years. Back in 2010, started as a hobby project, and then the idea evolved in one of the MVP summits in 2010. The birth of BizTalk360 started from there.

BizTalk360 latest version

Administration

Manage BizTalk environment

You can manage the BizTalk environment like start, stop applications, and artifacts. You can also manage your service instances like checking for health etc…

Secure and Audited admin console

In BizTalk Server 2020, there is a bit of auditing taking place but still, it is not helpful for your business/support people as it contains raw data but with BizTalk360 this would be helpful to understand better.

Stop context switching

You can integrate multiple portals into one i.e BizTalk360.

  • EDI
  • BAM
  • Event viewer
  • BHM
  • ESB
  • Administration

Monitoring

Saravana explained how you can visualize the health of your monitored components and business process. You will receive alerts when your business gets interrupted via notification channels in BizTalk360.

Auto correct

This is a life saver for BizTalk users because BizTalk360 helps the BizTalk artifacts to recover from failures for example when you receive location is disabled for a longer time and it is supposed to be enabled. In such cases, BizTalk360 will take possible ways to help you out.

Monitoring

Analytics

You can provide visibility in a visualized way for Messaging performance, Host performance, Server performance,

Analytics

You can also generate automatic reports in Analytics regarding the health of your BizTalk environment.

What is next?

BizTalk360 v10.3 & upcoming versions

  • Automatic task – Applications, Artifacts, Host Instances, IIS, and Custom
  • Monitor EDI agreement
  • Manage EDI Parties & Agreements
  • Manage Service Bus Queues and Topics
  • SSO Operations
  • Performance Metric Monitoring

Saravana demonstrated the product in action where he highlighted how uniquely BizTalk360 addresses the problems faced by BizTalk server users.

Reasons to invest in BizTalk360

  • Not enough BizTalk resources in the company
  • Streamlining Operations/ Monitoring during the Migration project
  • Business risk due to no/poor monitoring
  • If you are planning to keep the BizTalk server for 2+ years

ROI in using BizTalk360

  • Reporting – Self service portal
  • Less Manual Monitoring
  • Daily Health reporting
  • Production security
  • Business continuity with automated recovery

Are you worried about running your BizTalk Server environments?

  • Initial configuration and setup
  • Quarterly health checks

Saravana ended the session with some additional resources where you can check the capabilities of our product

#7: Building Hybrid Integration Solutions with BizTalk Server 2020 – (Sandro Pereira)

Sandro Pereira, 12years Microsoft Azure MVP shared his experience of being an Enterprise integration developer (hybrid integration for BizTalk Server) using Azure and deep drive in his own funny and interactive way as usual.

He states that to be an Enterprise integration developer you do not need to be a BizTalk Server, Logic Apps, or Azure expert but know the Enterprise integration capabilities. He said he likes wine more than beer 😛

Sandro promoted the book “Migration BizTalk Server 2020” before getting into the session

Migration BizTalk Server 2020

Hybrid integration solutions can be in the below ways

  • Cloud to cloud
  • On-premises to on-premises
  • On-premises to the cloud
  • Cloud to on-premises

BizTalk Server V-Next

He expects that a new version of BizTalk will be available if a new windows server version is released. There isn’t any better solution for on-premises integration, at least at the moment.

What does Sandro want to see in BizTalk Server?

  • Better Hybrid Integration
  • Feature pack and support for SQL 2022
  • SMTP adapter support

He also extends his thoughts on improving the Service bus adapter.

Excitement

Compared to BizTalk Server, in Azure, there is no more server, no more migrations.

Excitement

He also shared a few images of the integration landscape.

integration landscape

He highlighted that it’s difficult to find skilled people for BizTalk Server compared with Azure Enterprise Integration as an advantage. Also, he shared his developer experience in Logics Apps comparing the properties between the BizTalk Server and Logic Apps.

  1. Variables
  2. Resizable windows
  3. Copy and paste actions/shapes
  4. Variables

Also, he shared his view on everything to develop our business logic under the below topics,

  • Good error handling and retry functionalities
  • Call Azure REST API
  • Naming conventions
  • End-to-End Tracking capabilities and Application solution visibility can be easily achieved with the help of Serverless360.
  • End-to-End Tracking

He showed a demo of Hybrid integration.

There is no perfect technology. Choose the one that will fit better to your needs or better use it all together and unique Hybrid Integrations.

#8: Top 10 tips to secure your integration solutions – (Nino Crudele)

This session was taken over by Nino Crudele, providing tips to enhance the security of your Azure solutions, along with examples of how he attempted to attack specific applications and ideas to escape from it if you experience the same.

Tip 1: Understand security first

In the current situation, hacking is everywhere around the world. So, it is very important to understand the different types of attacks in the market. He elaborated more on the average cost associated with each of those attacks as mentioned in the below image.

Integration solutions

Tip 2: Security transcend technology

As a good security practice, you should never start thinking of security starting from technology, for instance, security doesn’t just stop with putting a firewall or application gateway in place.

He also gave a glimpse of the Microsoft O365 campaign dashboards and the Microsoft security community which offers a lot of resources about security.

Security transcend technology

Tip 3: Amateurs hack tech, professional hack people

He mentioned that once any system is attacked, the hacker will either take ownership of the system or will just send you the Malware or Trojan and also explained about reverse shell attack which seemed to be very effective.

In one of his experiments, he tried attacking the Microsoft Defender which is an Antivirus in Windows and showcased how he did the whole process.

Tip 4: Protect your containers

Here, he tried attacking a Microsoft container and demonstrated how easy it was to do, stressing why it is more important to secure your containers.

  • You can do it using Microsoft defender
  • A smart way is to block unnecessary ports, and scan for ncat type activities for the specific port only

Tip 5: Check your code and scripts

He did a Powershell attack in real-time to make everyone understand the importance of checking the code and scripts. To avoid such attacks, he suggested to try using Azure Bastion instead of Azure Powershell.

Check your code

Tip 6: After people, the process is the most vulnerable and important area to protect

It is important to increase the security of your code, as anybody can easily attack it using code masking.

What can be done? Use source code analysis tools, get the help of software engineers, integrate pentesting in CI/CD, etc.

SQLMap

Tip 7: Don’t use personal accounts in Azure

He recommends to enable MFA and using dedicated groups and accounts.

Tip 8:  Protect your perimeter and data

  • Isolation and tunnelling: Close the public endpoints as much as possible
  • Centralization: Use a base subscription for the shared asset for firewalls, API Management, etc., which would eventually improve the security as you just have one point to secure.

Tip 9:

A correct security system comes from the top and not from the bottom

Tip 10:

Don’t do security just for the sake of security

#9: How can I make it easier to support my Integration Platform with Serverless360 – (Michael / Ezhilarasi)

Michael and Ezhilarasi presented their product Serverless360 in this session. Ezhilarasi walked us through the challenges that industries face due to a lack of skilled people in newer technologies related to Azure. She emphasized choosing the proper tooling to reduce the severity of this challenge.

Integration platform

Ezhilarasi explained and demonstrated how Serverless 360 could be used to administer the Azure solution from outside the Azure portal. Serverless360 has unique core pillars like Business Application, Business Activity Monitoring, and Azure Documenter, which helps the organization better manage and monitor the Azure environment. Enabling first and second-line support staff frees up more skilled resources so they can focus on developing new features.

Serverless360

Ezhilarasi explained all the core pillars with a demonstration focused on the monitoring and operational capabilities available in Serverless360 for Azure environment maintenance.

To add value to the presentation Manish Upadhyaya from Kleinschmidt, a customer of Serverless360, gave an on-stage review on how the product helped the organization manage and monitor its Azure environment.

After that, Michael took over the session by explaining how Serverless360 solves Azure challenges in complex integration solutions. He mapped the core pillars with complex real-time use cases allowing us to understand how the Azure challenges can be quickly addressed in Serverless360.

Solving Azure challenges

Serverless360 provides a way to visualize your Azure state and how your App works. It provides a secure environment for performing management actions and seeing if your services are running correctly. It enables troubleshooting of individual transactions, operates on the principle of least privilege access, and audits who does what.

Ezhilarasi and Michael concluded the session by throwing light on the community initiatives and resources contributed by Serverless360 to the Azure community.

That’s the wrap!

We are now closing this exciting day 2 with a ton of informational content from the Microsoft Product Group and Integration community while keeping our spirits high for the final day.

Stay tuned with #INTEGRATE2022

This blogpost was prepared by:

Amritha
Rishivanth
Christhini
Nithyapraksh
Nadeem
Modhana
Sivaramakrishnan