B2B enterprise integration workflows with Azure Logic Apps and Enterprise Integration Pack
For business-to-business (B2B) solutions and seamless communication between organizations, you can build automated, scalable, enterprise integration workflows by using Azure Logic Apps with the Enterprise Integration Pack (EIP).
What is the Enterprise Integration Pack?
If you're familiar with Microsoft BizTalk Server or Azure BizTalk Services, the EIP follows similar concepts and makes B2B capabilities easy to use. However, one major difference is that the EIP is architecturally based on integration accounts. These accounts are cloud-based containers in Azure that simplify how you store, manage, and use B2B artifacts for B2B communication, including trading partners, agreements, maps, schemas, certificates, and so on.
With these artifacts, you can build B2B workflows and integration solutions that include cloud services, such as Azure, Microsoft, and other software-as-service (SaaS) apps, on-premises systems, and custom apps by using Azure Logic Apps with 400+ built-in operations and managed connectors. For example, you can create and run custom code from your workflows using built-in code execution operations and Azure Functions. You can also use enterprise integration connectors that support the following industry standards:
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
- Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)
Although organizations use different protocols and formats for B2B communication, you can still electronically exchange messages with other organizations. You can transform these different formats into a format that your organizations' systems can process by using the EIP, which supports industry-standard protocols, including AS2, X12, EDIFACT, and RosettaNet. You can also improve message security by using both encryption and digital signatures.
What do I need to get started?
An Azure account and subscription. If you don't have an Azure subscription, sign up for a free Azure account.
An integration account to store the B2B artifacts that you define and want to use.
To create maps and schemas, you can use the Microsoft Azure Logic Apps Enterprise Integration Tools Extension and Visual Studio 2019. If you're using Visual Studio 2015, you can use the Microsoft Azure Logic Apps Enterprise Integration Tools for Visual Studio 2015 2.0 extension.
Don't install this extension alongside the BizTalk Server extension. Having both extensions might produce unexpected behavior. Make sure that you only have one of these extensions installed.
After you create an integration account and add your artifacts, you can start building B2B workflows by creating a logic app resource. If you're new to logic apps, try creating an example basic logic app workflow. You can also create, manage, and deploy logic apps by using Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio, or PowerShell.
If you use the Logic App (Consumption) resource type, you have to link your integration account to your logic app resource before you can select B2B artifacts to use in your workflow. However, to define and add those artifacts to your integration account, you don't need a logic app resource yet.
If you use the Logic App (Standard) resource type, you can add schemas and maps directly to your logic app resource and use those artifacts across multiple workflows within the same logic app resource. You still need an integration account to store other artifacts such as partners and agreements, but linking is no longer necessary, so this capability doesn't exist. For more information about these resource types, review What is Azure Logic Apps - Resource type and host environments.
The following diagram shows the high-level steps to start building B2B logic app workflows: