Microsoft announced the release of ‘Logic Apps Version 2 (V2)’ on February 24th. This preview (V2) addresses and resolves issues (includes some UI and functional improvements i.e. new UI designer, Managed API Apps) and suggestions put forward by developer community in the feedback provided at Microsoft platform. If you were not able to keep track of Microsoft’s move into cloud-based integration technologies, it is good to start by having a look at “Will Azure Logic Apps Replace BizTalk on the Cloud?” and “Azure Logic Apps: Top 5 Use Cases and the Road Ahead of Microsoft Integration”.
Here are the key highlights of the updates and how they benefit the integration developers.
Why is this release important?
To keep the developer community engaged, Microsoft aims to release updates of Logic Apps consistently. Microsoft needs to work more effectively and faster to keep the customer pool intact. However, there’s a long way to go for Microsoft to make Logic Apps a highly productive platform that customers start using as BizTalk’s replacement.
Logic Apps and PoweApps are two separate entities that do not interact with each other, or at least yet. What PowerApps has is the ability of working with Managed API Apps that have been released recently along with the Logic App Version V2
New Designer Experience
New designer experience was probably the key feature released in this update. As part of the refresh, the Logic Apps designer now presents a cleaner interface with the added benefit of a more natural visual flow. It also provides managed out-of-the-box connectors, previously API apps were used by creating a separate instance and then dragging and dropping it in the Logic App. These changes improve the experience of the developers in creating and maintaining the Logic Apps. Older version of API apps can be used via using HTTP+Swagger connector so you do not need to worry about backward compatibility of your existing built in/custom API apps with Logic Apps v2
Managed API Connectors
Previously, the Logic Apps developers were delayed by the limitation of creating a connector instance within their Resource Groups before the connector could actually be used. In the preview version it has the ability to create connectors within logic apps, it is Managed APIs/Connectors custom/prebuilt on the run. Box, Slack, Twilio, and Office 365 are some of the connectors that can be used as Managed API Connections.
Since Logic Apps are still evolving, you’ll have to deal with plenty of bugs that often surface during development. Logic Apps definition language that is generated by the UI designer sometimes would not get properly built and parsed.
SFTP connections have no UI for CRUD yet, you would need to use PowerShell script to manipulate your existing connections. You are limited by the SFTP connections as this connection is not made at the application level but at the subscription level while API apps are accessed at the resource group level. The API apps cannot be accessed from different resource groups. They can be accessed only in the group that they exist in, this results in a multi-minute interruption for the developers. However, this is just the start as Microsoft has already announced the release of new features in the coming months.