Microsoft Flow and Azure Logic Apps Explained

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Confused by the difference between Microsoft Flow and Logic Apps? You’re not alone.

The Blue Horseshoe team frequently gets questions about these two Microsoft automation tools. Both solutions help you build applications faster. They also give people with few development skills the intuitive tools needed to create automated workflows. But they do have a couple key differences.

We’re sharing a quick explanation of each and a couple use examples that may clear up the confusion.

Azure Logic Apps

Logic Apps is a tool that exists within the Azure architecture that you can use across both cloud and on-premise infrastructures. It helps automate and orchestrate tasks, processes, and workflows. Fully compatible with Visual Studio Team Services, you can hook your Logic App to a source control to share with a team, merge changes, and edit locally in Visual Studio.

The application has an intuitive UI, giving the average user the ability to confidently automate a task. Because of the ability to develop Logic Apps in the underlying json file, think of it also as a tool with a high skill ceiling to help you orchestrate more advanced processes.

Logic Apps Use Cases

Trigger an email whenever a Twitter user posts a tweet. For example, @bhsolutions tweets about a Microsoft event. That action triggers an email notification that gives you a heads up that @bhsolutions has information to share.

A more familiar example would be integrations with existing platforms such as Dynamics 365. Connect to your environment and setup a monthly task to query all customers created within the last 30 days for a BI dashboard.

Microsoft Flow

Microsoft Flow is built on top of Azure Logic Apps. Every common connector/action that Logic Apps handles is also available in Flow, but their overall features are different.

Flow is truly a “no-code approach” to building automation and integration. You use a point-and-click designer to build the business process/logic. It has an easy-to-understand interface and it’s all contained within a single website.

Microsoft Flow Use Cases

Automate file transfers. For example, Blue Horseshoe created a Flow for a customer that connects data from multiple systems to Dynamics 365. Flow automated a scheduled, re-occurring task with email notifications to team members on the status of the process and any issues that may arise.

Create an on-premise connector to your SQL server and execute stored procedures from the cloud. Going a step further, with a HTTP request from Dynamics 365 to trigger this Flow, you can allow users to click a button to execute any number of actions in your local server.

The Bottomline

There’s also a difference between how Microsoft charges for Logic Apps and Flow.

Logic Apps is charged per action. All actions and connectors will bill the user per execution, and you can look on Azure for those price ranges.

Flow is licensed to users in plans, and one plan is included with Dynamics 365.

Both tools give you the ability to automate processes, but there are differences where one solution may be better suited than the other.

If you have questions about which solution is right for your business issue, contact Blue Horseshoe.

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Topics: Microsoft Dynamics 365