Azure Logic Apps vs Microsoft Flow, Why Not Both?

Extract from the article of Kent Weare


These days, you can’t go to a Microsoft conference where the question of “What is the difference between Microsoft Flow and Azure Logic Apps?” isn’t asked. For many people, they think the answer is binary; you need to use one or the other. While people have preferences, and perhaps even biases, it is important not to rule the other technology out, as you are likely missing out on opportunities for your organization.

When Microsoft has answered the Azure Logic Apps vs Microsoft Flow question in the past, personas generally played a role in deriving an answer.

When it comes to “Power users” or even “Citizen Developers”, Microsoft Flow is generally identified as the tool of choice, in part due to it being the targeted audience for why the tool was created.

Microsoft Flow

While Microsoft Flow, runs on top of Azure Logic Apps, there are some differences that exist. In this section, we will focus on some of the major capabilities and draw attention to some areas where a set of features provide Microsoft Flow with clear differentiation.

Microsoft Flow is technically an integration Software as a Service. Abstractions have been created by the Microsoft Flow team that lowers the barrier of entry for users to start building with it. As a result, “makers” do not require an Azure subscription to build flows, even though their flows do run in Azure as a logic app, underneath the hood.

Makers, typically gain access to Microsoft Flow through Dynamics365 or Office365 entitlement. This provides users with a monthly quota and access to specific features. Standalone plans and additional SKUs are also available for purchase.

The Microsoft Flow product group resides within the Business Applications Group, where it is closely aligned to the roadmaps of its organization’s counterparts: PowerApps, PowerBI, and Dynamics365.

Azure Logic Apps

Azure Logic Apps is an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS). It is a consumption-based billing service, which requires an Azure Subscription in order to build and run logic apps. More recently, the Logic Apps team has also released, in the preview, a dedicated capacity version called Integration Service Environment (ISE). Azure Logic Apps is part of the Azure Integration Services platform, which includes Azure API Management, Service Bus, and Event Grid.

Azure Logic Apps ISE includes VNet connectivity which allows customers to create direct connections to their on-premises assets without the use of an on-premises data gateway. It also includes the ability to have static outbound IP addresses, custom inbound domain names, isolated storage, scale out/in capabilities with a flat cost billing model.

There are many similarities between the connectors available in Microsoft Flow and Azure Logic Apps.


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