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Integrate applications with these 4 Azure integration tools

Integration can ensure consistent and scalable workflows in cloud applications, even connected to on-premises resources. Evaluate tools and services Azure offers for the task.

A cloud environment typically involves numerous services -- sometimes including on-premises systems -- that need to share data and components between applications. With the amount of data flowing, it's time-consuming for a cloud administrator to manually perform such integration tasks. Administrators and developers should have a process to integrate applications that unifies management, eases access and limits human interaction.

Cloud integration is a pivotal process, which involves various tools and technologies. Done well, it can reduce IT silos and improve connectivity. There are four main Microsoft Azure integration tools for applications -- both on premises and cloud-based -- as well as data and processes: Logic Apps, Service Bus, API Management and Event Grid. Learn the basics of each of these Azure integration tools below.

Azure Logic Apps: Logic Apps is a cloud service that enables enterprises to connect on-premises and cloud systems with prebuilt APIs as Microsoft-managed connectors. Users can schedule, automate and orchestrate various tasks, processes and workflows for integration purposes. When logic app, which is an application built by the Logic Apps tool, is triggered, it runs the action needed -- such as data conversion and flow controls. Rather than deal with code, users can build these logic apps with a visual design tool. Microsoft also offers prebuilt template and connector galleries.

Azure Service Bus: Service Bus is a cloud messaging service that transfers data between applications and services via messages. Additionally, it is a way to decouple applications and services from each other. Azure customers might evaluate Service Bus for scenarios such as order processing and financial transactions. A namespace holds all message components, such as queues for point-to-point communication and topics for publish/subscribe. The service also includes various advanced features such as auto-forwarding, dead-lettering, batching and duplication detection.

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Azure API Management: The API Management service enables enterprises to create, publish, manage, secure and analyze APIs. These APIs can publish to external, partner and internal developers. The Azure service comprises three primary components: an API gateway, Azure portal and a developer portal. Consider the service to secure mobile infrastructure or run an internal API program, among other uses. This product includes a consumption pricing tier, aimed at serverless architectures, in which enterprises pay per use.

Azure Event Grid: Event Grid is a cloud service that Azure customers use to build apps with event-based architectures and to manage event routing. It is a fit for serverless application architecture, operations automation and to integrate applications. Event Grid natively supports events that come from other Azure integration tools and services, as well as those from the enterprise. The five main components: events, event sources, topics, event subscriptions and event handlers. These components work together in applications to tell what happened, where it happened and what is reacting to it, in addition to the endpoint where publishers send events. Enterprises can choose between customized or resource-defined built-in events.

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