Jon Fancey & Matt Farmer reviews recent releases in pro-integration, and reveal Microsoft’s future roadmap for Logic Apps, including building an umbrella ‘Azure Integration Services’ platform.
Integrate 2018, June 4-6, etc.venues, London
Jon: So what we wanted to do here is really kind of wrap up our day and a half of Microsoft sessions, before you get to the good stuff, when you get to the MVP talking about the real truth behind using all our products, right? That’s why you’re really here. So we just want to kind of give you as all look over the way we’ll we’re seeing integration, what we’ve kind of achieved over the last year and also, you know, where we’re going next in terms of both vision, and some sort of concrete aspect. So some of the product work that we’re doing at the moment that you will see kind of lining up over the next, what do you mean…period of time. So we say, so with that, you know, just a year in review, we did this last year as well. This is sort of show the sheer velocity of everything that we’re doing across, you know, a number of our products, the key ones around integration, API Management, BizTalk and Logic Apps.
You know, the pace of change is not is not changing, as I mentioned yesterday. Just in a year, you know, we’ve really done a lot of work and worked with, you know, industry leaders like Gartner to make sure we’re building the right thing for you guys to make sure we have a complete platform. And obviously, we’re super pleased to see this was just published in April, you know, clearly like today, you know, we’re here, we would love to be…oops, no there, we would love to be up here. Sorry. And, you know, this is really where we want to be. And really, you know, we want your help to keep us honest, to tell us where we need to go next.
Again, you know, night charter terms of the amount of features we should in Logic Apps over the last 12 months. This is even completed. This is actually a view from a couple of months ago. The IG does not all fit on the page anymore. So just Kevin showed you briefly yesterday.
Just wanna walk through this in detail. Just an illustrative example of what we’ve been doing with Logic Apps. We’re bringing Logic Apps to the China cloud for those of you are international companies. This is a big deal because of the regulatory requirements in China and the golden firewall. And all the rest of it, that Logic Apps will be available along with API management which is already there. We’re bringing smart city designer as well, in terms of really powering on the ease of integration on our platform, how you can get hints and suggestions and recommendations on building your flows, how you can create these business processes as easily as possible, because we know from the kind of crowd-sourced data that we that we collect in that we have, which kind of actions go with which.
You know, if you start with service bus, you probably going to end with service bus and not with Dropbox or Twitter, right? The other thing we’re doing, as you saw earlier with Kevin talking about this is that is our new ice environments, providing a dedicated compute and connectivity using V net. You know, this is a huge deal for customers, you who have stronger security and regulatory compliance as well as wanting true costs predictability, by providing a fixed cost model per month for a known kind of quantity of consumption.
The next one we’re working on is testability. You know, this is I think we’ve had a lot of feedback from people from yourselves and also the broader community and customers out there, that once you have a number of logic Apps, you really want, you know, more capabilities, more features in terms of how you do testing and how you kind of do promotion between different environments, and how you kind of test in production and sort of take things back to the bench and make changes to them and put them back over the top of your production running Logic Apps.
The next one is On-prem. I think we mentioned this before, but, you know, we are bringing Logic Apps to Azure Stack that will be a lot of ways out but, you know, something that you should expect to see you know, going forward that you will have a choice, in fact, increasing number of choices. Today you have a multi-tenant environment, tomorrow you’ll have your own, you know, if you want an ice, you’ll be able to provision one of those, as Kevin said, he can do it right now, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer, but we are opening up the private preview very shortly. So if you’re interested in that, do let us know and then the next logical step is to bring it on premises so you can run it in your True, you know, isolated environment with connectivity backup, the Azure see really can create single kind of toolset and a single platform that you can deploy your integration solutions wherever you like.
The next thing is managed service identities. We’ve actually had a ton of feedback even this week on this, and we wanna get into some sort of housework that we need to do to provide MSI across all of our connectors. And on the same vein, providing OAuth authentication for a request triggers as well, which I know is a big deal. And, you know, another one, which kind of comes up a lot in these days of GDPR and kind of other kind of compliance is, you know, how do we can hide some of the sort of run details from certain classes of users that you have, and use our controls to allow you to have different roles and be able to see or not see some of the run history information.
And the final one is Key Vault, and some of these are coming very soon, actually. So Key Vault integration, being able to look up secrets in Key Vault and use those to make connections to your back-end systems without having to kind of create connections and provide all the information there in there.
Matt: So hopefully you’ve picked up over The course the last couple of days that there’s a number of components to doing integration, there’s a number of capabilities that we have that are required to build integration solutions for different reasons. And, you know, this is going to be no secret to Logic Apps, API Management, service bus, and event grid. But together with those, you need developer tools, you need to be able to create these integrations, deploy them, manage them, continuous integration, continuous deployment to, to run them. And Azure underpins that, Azure up in the US awhile.
Matt: You saw [inaudible 00:05:35] flow, Kim was presenting that yesterday and it’s a piece of the puzzle for citizen developers to build that integration, so business users can achieve what they want to achieve. And, of course, is talk servers still there, you know, a lot of you are still using BizTalk server and have that as absolutely core as part of your integration. And the other piece of the puzzle is Azure Stack, running integration on-premises and Azure Stack which is something way…that we plan to achieve.
Jon: I just kind of setting the scene because, you know, none of our products live in a vacuum. Azure is a platform. And the platform has a lot of value. It has this network effect that I talked about yesterday of the more services that you use, the more value you get out of the platform, you get the consistency, you get the security models, you get all the management and tracking and everything else that you need to run a true business platform for your organization. But Logic Apps is kind of sits in these two worlds. We have a sort of these industry-defining terms like iPaaS, you know, it’s came, you know, from the early days of like the early, you know, 2010s around provisioning integration platform as a service. So, moving out of the infrastructure, so it has elements of serverless to it.
Interesting thing about iPaaS, is that actually supports multiple personas, you know, flow runs on top of Logic Apps, it’s the same architecture and different features light up for different personas. So we have citizen integrators and ad hoc integrators, who very attracted, you know, business users. As well as developers who use flow to kind of do a dynamics first, office first type integration with things that makes sense in that world.
But, you know, they put a different hat on and can move to Logic Apps, and even migrate, or yeah, migrate flows up to Logic Apps, and use the full power of Azure connectivity, some of the features that Logic has provides, like B2B connectivity. So we really want to cover the full breadth of what an iPaaS means to enterprise. Because it’s not just for the developers, it’s for of business users and other folks as well. And everybody can get value utility out of these integration services. So it’s about high productivity, right, removing a lot of the infrastructure things that you’ve been used to in the past, dramatically increases productivity.
Also, because the way we provision and run everything, you get a different way of being able to connect. Use API centric. You can have a template-based approach using Azure resource manager to put everything together to a single deployment vehicle, so you get more predictability and again, it allows you to accelerate your change, do things more often than having to worry about things going wrong when you move things between dev test exceptions production. And then there’s a Serverless side of this. You know, Jeff talked about this yesterday. Serverless is just flat out cool from a developer point of view, because you really don’t wanna have to worry about getting the environment before you can actually be productive in writing code. And the same with Logic Apps, you know, you just create one of these things, save it and its running, right?
So you get again, more productivity, you get reduced DevOps because of the way it runs, you get micro billings, you pay for what you use, if logic Epicenter doesn’t do anything or function sits there doesn’t do anything, you’re not paying for, right? If it’s not running, it’s not costing you any money. And all of this leads to faster time to market but all together, this sort of intersection of these sort of serverless and iPaaS world with the Venture it and Logic Apps and as your functions and Service Bus gives you this richness of a platform for integration services on Azure.
Matt: So what does this all mean? I’d want to draw your mind back to the demo we did yesterday, seems like days and days ago now, it was only in kind of 24 hours ago. But I remember the slide we did. And the demo we did yesterday. Now, in each of the stages of that demo, there was some really key components and functions that were there throughout all of stages. If we look at each of those demos, there’s a component of API’s, of workflows, messaging and events. And we’re planning to bring those together, we have a vision of bringing those key functions together under an umbrella. Which we’re calling Azure Integration Services.
So what actually is the vision of Azure integration services? We’ll go through it, but there’s a platform for integration that works better together, that’s tried and trusted that you can use everywhere and that’s complete. What does that mean?
Jon: Yeah, so platform integration, you need the key components to build an enterprise integration platform, not just the developer tools you need. But integration to the tools of those developers needed like studio through to the ability to be able to track managed monitoring, deploy those integration solutions. A true platform with the power of the platform and the other things that we work on in Azure bubble up into the services that you run on top, whether it’s security or tracking, or monitoring, or alerting, all of these things provide the power of the platform, the underlying fabric and infrastructure which we provide that you don’t have to provision because it’s just there.
Matt: Better together. So when you use Azure integration services, using those core components, and integrating them together to build solutions is as easy as possible. So we make it really easy to you with through the UI or through tooling to create these integrations, to connect these things together to achieve the aims you want to do and deployment, management, and analytics on all of those things also work in similar ways. It’s easy and it’s consistent for you to use.
Jon: Indeed. And of course, it needs to be tried and trusted. Not just from a compliance point of view, that’s a given, all of the compliance that we provide for Azure in the services that run on top Azure is just part of the regular rhythm of our business, whether it’s GDPR or PSD2 or whatever it is, we provide compliance for all of the major regulations worldwide, right? It’s up to you, where you deploy into which data centers makes sense if you have, you know, data residency requirements as well.
Now, kind of above that as practitioners of integration, you really want to understand it particular in moving to new technologies that you’re just doing things the right way. So we’re providing reference architectures, for you’ll see the first efforts on this sort of lighting up, we’re aiming to get this done over the summertime. It will probably be talking about this more later in the year but to give you guys a kind of heads-up of running reference architectures that show that you are building the right solution in the right way in providing templates for that as well. So you can even deploy those across all of these products. That’s really what Azure integration services is about is to provide you with the tools you need, and the services you require your requirements, but also take you to production with these as quickly as possible.
So with that we’ll provide templates as well for common architectural plans. Because we see, you know, people using our services together all the time, service bus and API Management compose really well with Logic Apps. So it makes sense that we kind of document this and show you how to do it at Cloud scale across different regions to provide the kind of high availability and disaster recovery that you need to run your mission-critical applications, and providing guidance, you know, as well for that, as they are. But also how to scale out and how to deal with CI and CD as well.
Matt: Good. And you wanna be able to run this way you want to run it, so we want to give you the ability to run integration wherever you need to.do it, from running Serverless to running isolated, like the ice environment you saw today too, you know, on premises or on the edge, we wanna give you the solution that allows you to choose where you want to deploy this and run those consistent services where there needed.
Jon: Indeed, and of course, complete. You know, we, we hate it when, you know, we understand that we have gaps, right? So one of those big gaps today is that customers using business on premises have no real alternative right now, if they need to continue running on-premises and need some of the capabilities of BizTalk provides. Azure Stack will address some of that for those of you who are looking at wanting cloud On-prem cemetery with the same tools, but there are still other gaps that we need to fill. We have accelerated and BizTalk for healthcare, banking and others. And we really wanna bring all of that richness of BizTalk to Logic Apps as well. And reimagine what that functionality should look like for the cloud. Whether the cloud is private On-Prem using Azure Stack, or one of our public cloud region that we have.
Matt: So there you go. That’s Azure integration services. And, of course, it doesn’t exist in isolation, you’re still going to need other services in Azure to be able to achieve the goals you need and be able to connect to third-party systems, legacy systems and those kind of things.
Jon: You know, it’s really important this slide that we understand that, you know, nothing lives in isolation, as integrators and professional practitioners in this space. You get that, right, we know that Azure isn’t the be all and end all of what you’re trying to do, you have on-premises systems, whether from IBM or SAP or Oracle, and you require the connectivity to that. And that’s what we, you know, we strive to always provide and always be ahead of your requirements that we give you the tools that you need before you even realize what your requirements are.
Also with other clouds like Salesforce, but also our own, you know, we really have three clouds of Microsoft, we have Azure, we have office365 and we have dynamics and all of these clouds together, we strive again, very hard to make sure that they work seamlessly, and, of course, BizTalk as well is part of this picture to provide you the completeness of offering as we move forward to give you the choice that you need to deploy the products and services from us that you expect. Okay. So, you know, we’re just going to wrap that up and I think there’s actually one more…
Matt: There is. Maybe wondering what this gorgeous box is. So we have a limited run of gorgeous t-shirts that my Microsoft colleagues are going to help me dish out in a minute. Unfortunately, we don’t have one for everybody so this is going to be interesting. And you’ll see that it also has the Azure integration logo and also just for Kev, “Ice, ice baby on the back.” So if my colleagues could help me dish them out, we’re going to kind of do a throw them out in the crowd and hopefully, nobody gets injured.
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byJon Fancey & Matt Farmer
byMicrosoft Integration Team