To have an introductory discussion on Logic Apps and Enterprise Integration, I contacted Richard Seroter to hear his thoughts on the matter. Richard Seroter is the VP of Product for cloud leader CenturyLink, an InfoQeditor, and Microsoft MVP. He has contributed to 3 books on application and integration strategies. On top of that, he is also a blogger on solution design and architecture topics.
Q: We’ve seen that companies start their journey to cloud-based integration through use cases such as Connectivity and Data Validation. What do you think some of the most commonly used use-cases are when it comes to using Logic Apps or any other cloud-based product?
A: If we’re talking about cloud-based integration products, it seems that companies use them for a handful of reasons: simplicity, connecting cloud services, faster access to innovation. Cloud integration solutions can be simpler than large, packaged software that you install on-premises. You’ll often see more microservices-like offerings (Azure Logic Apps, AWS SQS) that are good at a particular capability, versus trying to solve every integration problem.
Cloud-based integration products are often designed with the Internet in mind. For full-fledged services like SnapLogic or even Logic Apps, they have many built-in connectors to SaaS platforms. That greatly accelerates the simple drag-and-drop integration between cloud endpoints.
Most any cloud product is going to ship updates much faster than packaged software. Users see a greater feature velocity, which helps them focus less on maintaining the software, and more on using the software to actually solve business problems.
Q: My preliminary research indicates that certain implementation patterns are used more frequently given that Logic Apps is not a mature product yet. For instance, Pipes & Filters, Aggregators, request/reply messages and event messages are among most frequently implemented in Logic Apps. Which patterns do you think are most suitable for implementation through Logic Apps?
A: Logic Apps has a way to go before becoming a standalone integration service that solves a majority of customer needs. But, it’s fine for connecting SaaS applications or democratizing integration and avoiding integration silos. Customers will have to decide if such a service is ready for mission critical integrations, or for introducing some initial use cases.
Q: We’ve seen that gradually there is more interest around Logic Apps and other cloud-based integration products. What are some of the key trends developing in cloud-based integration?
A: I mentioned a few trends above, but I think it comes down to customers wanting easy to use services that scale. I don’t necessarily need a “suite” of products, but something that does one thing very well. I may combine services for a given scenario, but it’s my choice. I’m also seeing more people get involved in integrating systems, and not leaving it to a single “integration team” that holds the keys to patterns and technology.
Thanks Richard for being forthcoming with your thoughts.