Part 2: cloud-based tools to the rescue!

Has there ever been a better time to automate everything?

This is the second of a three-part series of posts on Cloud-based integration in response to the ‘New Normal’ of IT.

In the Part One, we looked at the business case and benefits of using the latest technology to automate everything, cloud or on-premise. Below we take a closer look at the leading iPaaS cloud integration solution from Microsoft – Logic Apps, a quick and effective way to automate everything.

In Part Three of the series, we present a case study using Logic Apps to automate student onboarding in the Education sector.

Two existing approaches to integration

1. Bespoke – Point to Point

Integrations, using bespoke interfaces, preceded the arrival of Middleware. The inherent lack of flexibility and cost of maintenance means only high-volume integrations justify this expense today.

2. Middleware – Any to Any

On-premise Middleware is a well-established integration solution for larger enterprises needing to integrate multiple systems. The Middleware provides the flexibility lacking in bespoke Point to Point solutions. The downside is these solutions are costly and demand extensive internal knowledge and support to develop, maintain and operate.

Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)

A new generation of cloud-based tools known as ‘Integration Platform as a Service’ (iPaaS) solves this problem. They utilise the cloud and a service-based pricing model to bring end-to-end process automation to most systems (cloud and on-premise) and all organisations – small, medium or large.

iPaaS Market Leader: Microsoft Logic Apps

Microsoft’s Logic Apps, a part of Azure Integration Services, is the leader. It supports Cloud, On-Premise and Hybrid integrations and it requires no coding. Available on a ‘pay per use’ execution basis, it is cost-effective, powerful and flexible. There are over 200 ‘out of the box’ connectors to accelerate configuration. Others are easy to build.

What Business Value can Logic Apps deliver?

The business benefits achieved by connecting business-critical apps and services and automating workflows are:

  • Time and cost savings – by eliminating manual processes and errors, replacing costly legacy integration tools, and focusing IT resources on strategic activities;
  • Improved Agility – by keeping critical business and financial information up-to-date, better informed business decisions are possible;
  • Greater Visibility – by understanding the data flowing through the business, management of processes is proactive and leads to fewer errors;
  • Increased Efficiency – by connecting siloed applications, processes are simpler, performed in less time, and at reduced cost. Similar benefits are true of processes performed externally;
  • Improved Security – by reducing Excel usage, local ad-hoc file transfer, and compliance with security policies;
  • Instant Connectivity – with business partners via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) standards including EDIFACT, X12, and AS2.

What are the technical advantages of Logic Apps?

  • No coding required – logic apps enable the configuration, execution and control of workflows between disparate applications with hundreds of connectors available. Others are easy to build;
  • Enterprise-grade supports B2B and enterprise message integration and allows use of existing Biz Talk server and on-premises investments;
  • Cloud-based – serverless (multi-tenant, elastic infrastructure) no deployment or platform management,  on-premise or hybrid and NO middleware or hardware;
  • Pay for what you use’ – execution-based so ideal for lower volume integrations previously uneconomic to automate and maintain;
  • ‘DevOps’ – continuous development and deployment model, browser-based, Visual Studio, and visual code;
  • Full control – via integration management and monitoring features.

Want to know more about IPaaS?

Read Part Three and see an example of Logic Apps in action.

Contact Us

Contact us (details at bottom of page) for an informal chat on how you can benefit from our integration expertise, Logic Apps and other integration solutions.