Global Integration Bootcamp 2021 goes Virtual!!!

Hey there! Happy New Year!!!

Many of you were asking about if we would be doing another Global Integration Bootcamp this year. I know that there is been a while since we provided any news about it, but the team was trying to come up with a formula that would work for our goal of a 24 hour around the globe marathon of Microsoft Integration goodness! We knew that we wanted:

  • Stream it in a way that you could just tune in and watch whenever you were, instead of having to join a specific application.
  • Run through as many timezones as possible.
  • Open up for the community to bring their content either live or pre-recorded.

After much discussion (read HEAPS of Whats App messages going back and forth, tests on multiple streaming platforms, and trying to find a time that didn’t clash with other events), we locked it on 26-27 February (UTC Time) running three different event streams starting at times that are more suitable for the three main time zone areas- APAC, EMEA and Americas.

But for that to fly we need sessions and people ready to present right? So the Call for Papers process is now open. We are catering for both lightning talks (15 minutes) and breakout sessions (30-45 minutes) and any level (from introductory to advanced), so if you are interested in Microsoft Cloud and Hybrid Integration and would like to present in one of those time zones, please submit a session -or 3. The link for the CFP page is:

Submissions end on 5 February, so get your thinking caps on, or dust off that classic session you would like to revisit and send it our way!

Also, make sure you keep an eye on the event website (https://integrationbootcamp.com/ ) as we will be adding more information about the format and the links for the streaming pages, closer to the event.

In Summary

Azure Functions with a Static Outbound IP Address

“So to complete our configuration we just need your outbound static IP…” This is something that pops up again and again, specially if you work integrating legacy systems, like banks, government agencies or other older systems that requires a static IP Address to add to firewall inbound rules.

In the past I had to use on of the subscription tiers from Azure API Management or in some cases deploy the code within a self hosted service in a Virtual Machine. And both of them are valid options if you already have one of those components in place. But in a couple of my last projects, Not only I needed to implement a new component (in this case API Management) just to fulfil this requirement. I also had to change my design a bit, because API Management didn’t support one of the streaming requirements I had (but that is a story for another post).

But I wouldn’t be writing a post just to complain about this (not that this has never happened before) – I actually found another solution – one that I’ve tried and discarded earlier this year, but thanks to some good work from the App Services Engineering team, is finally a viable solution: Azure Functions + VNET Integration + NAT Gateways!

Continue reading “Azure Functions with a Static Outbound IP Address”

Recapping Integrate 2020

Last week I’ve attended the Integrate conference once again. It was my 5th time attending the conference, and the 4th time I’ve participate as a speaker.

But Integrate 2020  was quite a different experience from the last years. Dubbed Integrate 2020 Remote, to reflect the fact that was yet another event that had to adapt to the pandemic reality that assaulted the planet since the end of last year. Kovai, the company formerly know as BizTalk 360, and the event organizer since its inception in 2012, took some time to decide that the event would go ahead, but when decided that it would be in a new format, didn’t pull any stops to get it running. With almost 1000 online attendees – which is impressive for a paid event, Integrate 2020 had 28 speakers, between Microsoft Program Managers and Microsoft MVPs and as many technical sessions distributed across three days.

Continue reading “Recapping Integrate 2020”

MS Build Recap – The AIS Edition

This year’s MS Build was very different – we all know that. But for most of us, me included, was the first opportunity to join the event officially. And what event it was.

Ran across three time zone, with a mix of live sessions, Teams Live events and smaller Teams events, like focus groups, which allowed the attendees to really interact with the product groups and advocates from Microsoft.

This year there were some interesting announcements around the Azure Integration Services technologies. I’ve recently shared those announcements on a Auckland Azure User Group meetup, and thought that, since I already had everything collated, it would be a good idea to just share this with you on the blog as well. So, let’s talk about what is now available, or just \around the corner for AIS

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API Management – Restrict Operation Access per Product

Last week I had an interesting request from a client. They have been creating generic APIs, using a variety of different backend systems (on-prem APIs, Azure Functions, Logic Apps, cloud APIs). Those APIs were grouped by product but even within a product they would like to restrict access to only some operations, so product A would have access to a group of operations, while product B would have access to different group. Initially I thought that role based access driven by claims, but the issue was that we didn’t have control of the identity providers, or the back end services. In the end we would have to find a solution within API Management to create this ACL like style.

Initally I didn’t like the idea to create our own access controls in APIM, but faced with the other constraints, I slowly warmed up to the idea and learned a couple of things about policies along the way.

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API Management – Arc Enabled

API Management what enabled? If you haven’t keeping up with the news from MS Ignite 2019, the title might be a bit confusing. Arc (not A.R.C as I read it initially) is a new Service in Azure that allow customer to deploy and manage Azure Services anywhere – and anywhere in this case means any cloud, on-premises infrastructure and at the edge. You can find more about that service here.

During MS Ignite, the API Management team launched the public preview of a new feature, that takes advantage of the Arc technology to deploy API Management gateways anywhere. So let’s take a look of what that looks like.

Continue reading “API Management – Arc Enabled”

API call with client certificate policy failing to execute due to message size on Azure API Management

Well, that is a mouthful of a title, but I wanted to capture the exact issue, because I couldn’t find any page to help with this specific error and managed to get it fixed thanks to Vladimir Vinogradsky pointing me out to a tip in one of the APIM docs.

So my scenario was this: my team was working on an API that is protected with a client certificate policy – quite simple, very straightforward. At the API level it had the following policy:

Continue reading “API call with client certificate policy failing to execute due to message size on Azure API Management”

Automating API Management CI/CD with APIM DevOps Resource Kit

Hey everyone! It’s been a while right? The only thing I have to say in my defense is that the last 5 months have been crazy with travel, presentations and lots of work, so I couldn’t get myself to create a good blog post. But enough of excuses already… Remember the “lots of work” part? That involved working with different clients, and a common theme among many of those clients was the implementation of a centralized API layer, tho expose the back services they were creating. That meant that I had to find a good way to automate the publishing of the APIs created in API Management across the different environments. Previously, I’ve relied on the fantastic work that Mattias Logdberg did with the API Management ARM Template Creator (which is also worth a look). But now that Microsoft had some official guidance for that extraction, I decided to have a go with it.

Continue reading “Automating API Management CI/CD with APIM DevOps Resource Kit”

Combining API Management with Azure Relays

As you might remember, in June I was at the Integrate 2018, doing a presentation called Exposing BizTalk to the World. It was my second time presenting on what became the premier conference on Microsoft Integration and it was a fantastic experience. It wouldn’t be fair to talk about Integrate without thanking Theta for sponsoring my trip and time of work and BizTalk360 for organizing a great event.

But why am I talking about this almost four months later? Apart from the shameless plug, during that presentation suggested a couple of ways to expose BizTalk endpoints. One of the options was using API Management to expose BizTalk receive locations, and the other was using Azure Relay to bypass firewall and securely expose BizTalk endpoints.

A couple of weeks ago, I’ve actually combine both technologies to securely expose a BizTalk endpoint. On this scenario, the client needed to create an API that would be exposed to partners, but wanted to reuse a series of BizTalk processes that were already implemented. As this was a pilot that should highlight the agility and fast time to market that can be achieved with the cloud, we didn’t have time to go through the process of exposing their environment through the firewall and whitelist API Management. Continue reading “Combining API Management with Azure Relays”

Automating API Management Backup and Restore with Logic Apps

I’ve been working during the last week or so on setting up a DR strategy for a solution that is based on API Management, Azure Functions and Service Bus. Most of the deployment to the secondary site is dealt by VSTS, but one of the main issues on the proposed strategy was the fact that APIM instance utilized is Standard, which doesn’t allow multi-region deployments. This way, to guarantee that all APIM configuration, including users, API policies and subscriptions, I had to leverage from the backup/restore functionality available in APIM, based on the Management API.

The API calls for backup and restores are quite straight forward, but use a authorization token that must be requested before the API call can be executed. So, to automate the process to generate the token and execute the backup or restore API calls, I decided to use Logic Apps. Continue reading “Automating API Management Backup and Restore with Logic Apps”