Upload Flat File on Azure SQL Database using Azure Logic App

In this article, I’m going to describe how to upload on-premises flat files on Azure SQL Database using Azure Logic Apps.

Logic Apps provide integration and workflows capabilities in the cloud. It provides a visual designer to model and automated processes as a series of steps.

In this sample, I also use Azure Service Bus as an entry point to the cloud because the file size is less than 1024 KB. Consider to use Azure Storage if you plan to upload file greater than that size.

Initial Consideration

Before you start, consider installing Microsoft Azure Logic Apps Enterprise Integration Tools for Visual Studio 2015 (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=53016) in order to facilitate the creation of schemas and maps.

In addition, you can install Azure Logic Apps Tools for Visual Studio (https://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/e25ad307-46cf-412e-8ba5-5b555d53d2d9) to develop Logic App integration using visual studio.

At this link (https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/tools/), you can find several tools for the development of solutions based on Microsoft Azure.

The following picture shows the data flow that I am going to describe.

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Following the check list

  • Create Resource Group
  • Create Service Bus Namespace
  • Create Service Bus Queue
  • Create SQL Server
  • Create SQL Database
  • Create SQL Objects (Table, Schema and Procedures)
  • Configure API Connection to Service Bus
  • Configure API Connection to SQL Database
  • Create an Integration Account
  • Upload Schemas and Maps on Integration Account
  • Configure Transform Function (this step should be unnecessary in the next future)
  • Create and Test Logic App integration flow

To complete each step, you must first access the Microsoft Azure portal (https://portal.azure.com).

I think it is unnecessary to describe each step in detail, so I will just provide some screen shots.

Create Resource Group

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Create Service Bus Namespace

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Create Service Bus Queue

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Create SQL Server (Logical Server)

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Connect to SQL Server and create database objects

Before you can connect to SQL Database virtual server, you have to configure Azure firewall to allow the communication.

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Use SQL Server Management Studio to create database and tables

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Create database
   1: /*

   2: For additional information refer to address https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn268335.aspx

   3: */

   4: CREATE DATABASE [int-fftosql-sqldb]

   5: (

   6:     EDITION = 'basic',

   7:     SERVICE_OBJECTIVE='basic'

   8: );

   9:

  10: GO

Create table and procedures

 

   1: CREATE XML SCHEMA COLLECTION [dbo].[OrderXml] AS

   2: N'<xsd:schema xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema">

   3:   <xsd:element name="Root">

   4:     <xsd:complexType mixed="true">

   5:       <xsd:complexContent mixed="true">

   6:         <xsd:restriction base="xsd:anyType">

   7:           <xsd:sequence>

   8:             <xsd:element name="Order" maxOccurs="unbounded">

   9:               <xsd:complexType mixed="true">

  10:                 <xsd:complexContent mixed="true">

  11:                   <xsd:restriction base="xsd:anyType">

  12:                     <xsd:sequence>

  13:                       <xsd:element name="Lines" type="OrderDetailType" maxOccurs="unbounded" />

  14:                     </xsd:sequence>

  15:                     <xsd:attribute name="orderDate" type="xsd:string" use="required" />

  16:                     <xsd:attribute name="orderNumber" type="xsd:string" use="required" />

  17:                     <xsd:attribute name="channel" type="xsd:string" use="required" />

  18:                   </xsd:restriction>

  19:                 </xsd:complexContent>

  20:               </xsd:complexType>

  21:             </xsd:element>

  22:           </xsd:sequence>

  23:         </xsd:restriction>

  24:       </xsd:complexContent>

  25:     </xsd:complexType>

  26:   </xsd:element>

  27:   <xsd:complexType name="OrderDetailType" mixed="true">

  28:     <xsd:complexContent mixed="true">

  29:       <xsd:restriction base="xsd:anyType">

  30:         <xsd:choice maxOccurs="unbounded">

  31:           <xsd:element name="productName" type="xsd:string" />

  32:           <xsd:element name="quantity" type="xsd:string" />

  33:           <xsd:element name="value" type="xsd:string" />

  34:         </xsd:choice>

  35:       </xsd:restriction>

  36:     </xsd:complexContent>

  37:   </xsd:complexType>

  38: </xsd:schema>'

  39: GO

  40:

  41: CREATE TABLE [dbo].[OrderHeader]

  42: (

  43:     [orderId] [uniqueidentifier] NOT NULL,

  44:     [orderNumber] [varchar](20) NOT NULL,

  45:     [orderDate] [datetime] NOT NULL,

  46:     [channel] [varchar](50) NULL,

  47:     CONSTRAINT [PK_OrderHeader] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED

  48:     (

  49:         [orderId] ASC

  50:     )

  51: )

  52: GO

  53:

  54: CREATE TABLE [dbo].[OrderLine]

  55: (

  56:     [orderLineId] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,

  57:     [orderId] [uniqueidentifier] NOT NULL,

  58:     [productName] [varchar](100) NOT NULL,

  59:     [quantity] [int] NOT NULL,

  60:     [value] [numeric](18, 3) NOT NULL,

  61:     CONSTRAINT [PK_OrderLine] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED

  62:     (

  63:         [orderLineId] ASC

  64:     )

  65: )

  66: GO

  67:

  68: /*

  69: TEST STATEMENT:

  70: -------------------------------

  71: EXECUTE OrderInsert N'<Root>

  72:   <Order orderDate="20160101" orderNumber="000001" channel="Internet">

  73:     <Lines>

  74:       <productName>Portable Radio</productName>

  75:       <quantity>10</quantity>

  76:       <value>23.5</value>

  77:     </Lines>

  78:     <Lines>

  79:       <productName>6 red wine bottles</productName>

  80:       <quantity>20</quantity>

  81:       <value>30.9</value>

  82:     </Lines>  

  83:   </Order>

  84: </Root>'

  85: -------------------------------

  86: */

  87: CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[OrderInsert]

  88:     @orderStream VARCHAR(MAX)

  89: AS

  90: BEGIN

  91:

  92:     -- Fix Incoming XML: Logic App add a "?" char at the beginning of the string

  93:     SET @orderStream = REPLACE(@orderStream, '?<', '<');

  94:

  95:     DECLARE @orderXml XML(OrderXml) = CAST(@orderStream AS XML(OrderXml));

  96:     DECLARE @orderId UNIQUEIDENTIFIER = NEWID();

  97:

  98:     INSERT INTO OrderHeader

  99:     (

 100:         orderId,

 101:         orderNumber,

 102:         orderDate,

 103:         channel

 104:     )

 105:     SELECT

 106:         @orderId,

 107:         orderNumber = OrderObject.Header.value('./@orderNumber', 'varchar(20)'),

 108:         orderDate = OrderObject.Header.value('./@orderDate', 'datetime'),

 109:         channel = OrderObject.Header.value('./@channel', 'varchar(50)')

 110:     FROM

 111:         @orderXml.nodes('/Root/Order') AS OrderObject(Header);

 112:

 113:     INSERT INTO OrderLine

 114:     (

 115:         orderId,

 116:         productName,

 117:         quantity,

 118:         value

 119:     )

 120:     SELECT

 121:         @orderId,

 122:         productName = OrderObject.Lines.value('./productName[1]', 'varchar(100)'),

 123:         quantity = OrderObject.Lines.value('./quantity[1]', 'int'),

 124:         value = OrderObject.Lines.value('./value[1]', 'numeric(18,3)')

 125:     FROM

 126:         @orderXml.nodes('/Root/Order/Lines') AS OrderObject(Lines);

 127:

 128: END

 129: GO

You should see something like that.

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Create API Connection to Service Bus queue

Before to configure the connection, you need to know the service bus connection string.

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Create API Connection to SQL Server

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Create Integration Account

Integration accounts allow you to manage artifacts such as schemas, maps, certificates, partners and agreements in order to build Integration Application cloud based apps.

For additional information, refer to https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/app-service-logic-enterprise-integration-create-integration-account/.

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Configure Integration Account

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Add source schema (PurchaseOrderFF.xsd)

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   1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-16"?>

   2: <xs:schema xmlns="http://int1demoa1project.Order" xmlns:b="http://schemas.microsoft.com/BizTalk/2003" targetNamespace="http://int1demoa1project.Order" xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema">

   3:   <xs:annotation>

   4:     <xs:appinfo>

   5:       <schemaEditorExtension:schemaInfo namespaceAlias="b" extensionClass="Microsoft.Azure.Integration.DesignTools.FlatFileExtension.FlatFileExtension" standardName="Flat File" xmlns:schemaEditorExtension="http://schemas.microsoft.com/BizTalk/2003/SchemaEditorExtensions" />

   6:       <b:schemaInfo standard="Flat File" codepage="1250" xmlns:b="http://schemas.microsoft.com/BizTalk/2003" root_reference="Order" />

   7:     </xs:appinfo>

   8:   </xs:annotation>

   9:   <xs:element name="Order">

  10:     <xs:annotation>

  11:       <xs:appinfo>

  12:         <b:recordInfo structure="delimited" child_delimiter_type="hex" child_delimiter="0xD 0xA" child_order="postfix" />

  13:       </xs:appinfo>

  14:     </xs:annotation>

  15:     <xs:complexType>

  16:       <xs:sequence>

  17:         <xs:element name="Header">

  18:           <xs:annotation>

  19:             <xs:appinfo>

  20:               <b:recordInfo tag_name="H0" structure="delimited" child_delimiter_type="char" child_delimiter=";" child_order="prefix" />

  21:             </xs:appinfo>

  22:           </xs:annotation>

  23:           <xs:complexType>

  24:             <xs:sequence>

  25:               <xs:element name="orderDate" type="xs:string">

  26:                 <xs:annotation>

  27:                   <xs:appinfo>

  28:                     <b:fieldInfo justification="left" />

  29:                   </xs:appinfo>

  30:                 </xs:annotation>

  31:               </xs:element>

  32:               <xs:element name="orderNumber" type="xs:string">

  33:                 <xs:annotation>

  34:                   <xs:appinfo>

  35:                     <b:fieldInfo justification="left" />

  36:                   </xs:appinfo>

  37:                 </xs:annotation>

  38:               </xs:element>

  39:               <xs:element name="channel" type="xs:string">

  40:                 <xs:annotation>

  41:                   <xs:appinfo>

  42:                     <b:fieldInfo justification="left" />

  43:                   </xs:appinfo>

  44:                 </xs:annotation>

  45:               </xs:element>

  46:             </xs:sequence>

  47:           </xs:complexType>

  48:         </xs:element>

  49:         <xs:element maxOccurs="unbounded" name="Detail">

  50:           <xs:annotation>

  51:             <xs:appinfo>

  52:               <b:recordInfo tag_name="D0" structure="delimited" child_delimiter_type="char" child_delimiter=";" child_order="prefix" />

  53:             </xs:appinfo>

  54:           </xs:annotation>

  55:           <xs:complexType>

  56:             <xs:sequence>

  57:               <xs:element name="productName" type="xs:string">

  58:                 <xs:annotation>

  59:                   <xs:appinfo>

  60:                     <b:fieldInfo justification="left" />

  61:                   </xs:appinfo>

  62:                 </xs:annotation>

  63:               </xs:element>

  64:               <xs:element name="quantity" type="xs:string">

  65:                 <xs:annotation>

  66:                   <xs:appinfo>

  67:                     <b:fieldInfo justification="left" />

  68:                   </xs:appinfo>

  69:                 </xs:annotation>

  70:               </xs:element>

  71:               <xs:element name="value" type="xs:string">

  72:                 <xs:annotation>

  73:                   <xs:appinfo>

  74:                     <b:fieldInfo justification="left" />

  75:                   </xs:appinfo>

  76:                 </xs:annotation>

  77:               </xs:element>

  78:             </xs:sequence>

  79:           </xs:complexType>

  80:         </xs:element>

  81:       </xs:sequence>

  82:     </xs:complexType>

  83:   </xs:element>

  84: </xs:schema>

Add SQL Server stored procedure schema (PurchaseOrderDB.xsd)

clip_image002[6]

   1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-16"?>

   2: <xsd:schema xmlns:b="http://schemas.microsoft.com/BizTalk/2003" attributeFormDefault="unqualified" elementFormDefault="unqualified" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema">

   3:   <xsd:complexType name="OrderDetailType" mixed="true">

   4:     <xsd:choice minOccurs="1" maxOccurs="unbounded">

   5:       <xsd:element minOccurs="1" maxOccurs="1" name="productName" type="xsd:string" />

   6:       <xsd:element minOccurs="1" maxOccurs="1" name="quantity" type="xsd:string" />

   7:       <xsd:element minOccurs="1" maxOccurs="1" name="value" type="xsd:string" />

   8:     </xsd:choice>

   9:   </xsd:complexType>

  10:   <xsd:element name="Root">

  11:     <xsd:complexType mixed="true">

  12:       <xsd:sequence>

  13:         <xsd:element minOccurs="1" maxOccurs="unbounded" name="Order">

  14:           <xsd:complexType mixed="true">

  15:             <xsd:sequence>

  16:               <xsd:element minOccurs="1" maxOccurs="unbounded" name="Lines" type="OrderDetailType" />

  17:             </xsd:sequence>

  18:             <xsd:attribute name="orderDate" type="xsd:string" use="required" />

  19:             <xsd:attribute name="orderNumber" type="xsd:string" use="required" />

  20:             <xsd:attribute name="channel" type="xsd:string" use="required" />

  21:           </xsd:complexType>

  22:         </xsd:element>

  23:       </xsd:sequence>

  24:     </xsd:complexType>

  25:   </xsd:element>

  26: </xsd:schema>

Add XML Transformation Map

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clip_image004[6]

   1: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-16"?>

   2: <xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform" xmlns:msxsl="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:xslt" xmlns:var="http://schemas.microsoft.com/BizTalk/2003/var" exclude-result-prefixes="msxsl var s0" version="1.0" xmlns:s0="http://int1demoa1project.Order">

   3:   <xsl:output omit-xml-declaration="yes" encoding="windows-1250" version="1.0" indent="no" method="xml" />

   4:   <xsl:template match="/">

   5:     <xsl:apply-templates select="/s0:Order" />

   6:   </xsl:template>

   7:   <xsl:template match="/s0:Order">

   8:     <Root>

   9:       <Order>

  10:         <xsl:attribute name="orderDate">

  11:           <xsl:value-of select="Header/orderDate/text()" />

  12:         </xsl:attribute>

  13:         <xsl:attribute name="orderNumber">

  14:           <xsl:value-of select="Header/orderNumber/text()" />

  15:         </xsl:attribute>

  16:         <xsl:attribute name="channel">

  17:           <xsl:value-of select="Header/channel/text()" />

  18:         </xsl:attribute>

  19:         <xsl:for-each select="Detail">

  20:           <Lines>

  21:             <productName>

  22:               <xsl:value-of select="productName/text()" />

  23:             </productName>

  24:             <quantity>

  25:               <xsl:value-of select="quantity/text()" />

  26:             </quantity>

  27:             <value>

  28:               <xsl:value-of select="value/text()" />

  29:             </value>

  30:             <xsl:value-of select="./text()" />

  31:           </Lines>

  32:         </xsl:for-each>

  33:       </Order>

  34:     </Root>

  35:   </xsl:template>

  36: </xsl:stylesheet>

 

Temporary operations

Create Storage Account

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Create App Service Plan

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Create Function App

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Add the transformation function

To add the transformation Function for Logic App run the following link

https://portal.azure.com/#create/Microsoft.Template/uri/https%3A%2F%2Fraw.githubusercontent.com%2FAzure%2Fazure-quickstart-templates%2Fmaster%2F201-logic-app-transform-function%2Fazuredeploy.json

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Create Logic App

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Associate Integration Account to the Logic App

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Create a blank solution

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Configure trigger

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Modify the polling frequency if you need to process the file in near real time.

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Add Flat-File decoding to parse flat file and fill into XSD schema message.

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Add the map to transform flat file message to SQL Database XML schema type.

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Configure the call to the stored procedure.

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Write and run client application

Now you able to run the client application. To create a sample application, follow the steps below.

1 – Install WindowsAzure.ServiceBus NuGet Package

clip_image032

2 – Get service bus Connection String

clip_image034

3 – Write your code

   1:

   2: using Microsoft.ServiceBus.Messaging;

   3:

   4: ...

   5: using (FileStream file = File.Open(<FilePath>, FileMode.Open, FileAccess.Read, FileShare.Delete))

   6: {

   7:

   8:   // Send

   9:   file.Seek(0, SeekOrigin.Begin);

  10:

  11:   var queueClient = QueueClient.CreateFromConnectionString(<ConnectionString>, <QueueName>);

  12:   BrokeredMessage serviceBusMessage;

  13:

  14:   serviceBusMessage = new BrokeredMessage(file);

  15:

  16:   queueClient.Send(serviceBusMessage);

  17:

  18: }

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Upload Dataset on Azure SQL Database using Azure Event Hub and Azure Stream Analytics

There are several ways to upload data to SQL Database, including SSIS, BCP, API and several other ways.

For those who work with SQL Server it is natural to use tools that historically belong to the SQL platform, so I wanted to write this article to expose an alternative and to talk about different techniques that apply to different scenarios.

When designing an architecture, you may find yourselves at a crossroads, and often you do not know what to expect once made a decision. How requirements will change over time.

Azure Event hub allows us to decouple who collects the data (the client) from who receives the data, allow you to change kind of receivers or add additional targets.

For this reason, I consider it the entry point to Microsoft Azure.

The following picture shows the data flow that I am going to describe.

Following the check list

  • Create Resource Group
  • Create Event Hubs Namespace
  • Create Event Hub Queue
  • Create SQL Server
  • Create SQL Database
  • Create SQL Table
  • Create Stream Analytics Job
  • Configure Input
  • Configure Output
  • Configure Query
  • Start Stream Analytics Job

To complete each step, you must first access the Microsoft Azure portal (https://portal.azure.com).

I think it is unnecessary to describe each step in detail, so I will just provide some screen shots.

Create Resource Group

Create Event Hubs Namespace

Create Event Hub

Create SQL Server (logical server)

Connect to SQL Server and create database objects

Before you can connect to SQL Database virtual server, you have to configure Azure firewall to allow the communication.

Use SQL Server Management Studio to create database and tables

Create database

/*

For additional information refer to address https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn268335.aspx

*/

CREATE
DATABASE [int-dstosql-sqldb]

(

    EDITION ‘basic’,

    SERVICE_OBJECTIVE=‘basic’

);

GO

Create table

CREATE TABLE OrdersByCity

(

    entryId INT NOT NULL IDENTITY(1,1) PRIMARY KEY,

    city VARCHAR(50NOT NULL,

    orderValue NUMERIC(10,2NOT NULL,

    orderDate DATETIME NOT NULL

);

Create Stream Analytics Job

Create Stream Analytics Job Input

Create Stream Analytics Job output

Define Stream Analytics Job Query

Refer to the link https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/dn834998.aspx for additional information about Azure Stream Analytics query language.

Save and start stream analytics job.

Write and run client application

Now you able to run the client application. To create a sample application, follow the steps below.

1 – Install WindowsAzure.ServiceBus NuGet Package

2 – Get Event Hubs Connection String

3 – Write your code

using Microsoft.ServiceBus.Messaging;

using System.Threading;


DataTable dataTable = <Put here your code to retrieve data>;

var data = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(dataTable);

var eventHubClient = EventHubClient.CreateFromConnectionString(<Event Hub Conn String>, <Queue Name>);

eventHubClient.Send(new EventData(Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(data)));

eventHubClient.Close();

Refer to the link https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/event-hubs-csharp-ephcs-getstarted/ to additional information.

BizTalk CRM Lookup functoid is now ready for CRM Online

In recent years I often integrate Microsoft Dynamics CRM by using BizTalk Server, and as many know, BizTalk Server does not have a native connector for MS CRM.

For this reason, we must work hard to generate canonical schemas, to resolve lookup type fields, Guid type fields and generally to develop maps.

To increase the productivity of my team I have always tried to develop tools or helpers to automate the development of long and repetitive tasks, reducing the possibility of generating errors and standardize approaches to problems.

In recent months, with the cooperation of Nino Crudele and Sandro Pereira we published several functoids that simplify integration with Dynamics CRM and in this article I want to describe the work that has been done to also integrate the CRM Online.

When you integrate MS CRM using BizTalk Server, typically you have at least two problems:

  • Transcode the Lookup and Guid type fields
  • Mapping the input information with the generic schema exposed by CRM

The BizTalk Mapper Extension Utility pack simplifies both tasks by providing specialized functoids.

Today we released a new version where you can find the CRM Lookup functoid with two new features:

  • The ability to define more than one configuration in the SSO. This allows of integrating more than one CRM instance with a single BizTalk Farm
  • Now you can integrate CRM On-Line. CRM Lookup, for performance reasons, performs lookups operation by accessing the CRM database in read only. However, the CRM Online does not expose his database, so we added the ability to do lookups using the native CRM web services that are present in both the online and on-premises versions.

The functoid now takes five mandatory input parameters:

  1. SSO Application Name: the connection parameters are stored inside SSO. Here you have to specify the application name where you decide to store the settings. This allow you to have multiple CRM environments that you can integrate;
  2. CRM Guid Field Name: key field name of which you want to get the value;
  3. CRM Entity Name: CRM entity name on which the resolution will be performed
  4. CRM Input Field Name: imagining having a “code” as input and you want to know the CRM physical key, in this attribute should specify the name of the “code” field.
  5. CRM Input Value: value from source system to resolve


The output of the functoid is a string, Example: 6erg5r-sdrf56-4dfgt5-6ty5r4-456trt 24

Installation

Download and install BizTalk Mapper Extensions UtilityPack from https://btsmapextutilitypack.codeplex.com/.

Download CRM Sdk and register in GAC the following assemblies:

  • Microsoft.Xrm.Sdk.dll (version 5.0.9910.15)

Create a SSO application by using SSO Configuration Application MMC Snap-In available at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=14524.

SQL Server Lookup

Create the following SSO configuration parameters

  • CrmConnectionType: “sql”
  • CrmDatabaseConnectionString: specify the CRM database connection string

Open SQL Server management console, connect to CRM database and execute the script under CRMLookup.sql file in project folder.

Local CRM web services lookup

Create the following SSO configuration parameters

CRM Online web services lookup

Create the following SSO configuration parameters

How-to create an Azure Service Bus namespace in a specific Resource Group

At this moment, the Azure portal does not allow the creation of a Service Bus namespace in a specific Resource Group. You can do it via REST or PowerShell but not from the portal.

In this short article, I will show how to do it without writing lines of code.

  • Create the resource group from the portal (for example “sampleResources”)
  • From https://resources.azure.com app navigate “subscription”, “your subscription name”, “resourceGroups” and then choose the resource group previously created.
  • Expand “providers” and click on “Show all”
  • Expand “Microsoft.ServiceBus” and then select “namespaces”
  • On the right panel click on “Read\Write” and then on “Create” buttons
  • Specify the name of your Service Bus Namespace (for example “sampleServiceBus”)
  • Paste the following json code

 

{
  “id”: “/subscriptions/SUBSCRIPTION_GUID/resourceGroups/sampleResources/providers/Microsoft.ServiceBus/namespaces/sampleServiceBus,
  “name”: sampleServiceBus,
  “type”: “Microsoft.ServiceBus/namespaces”,
  “location”: West US,
  “kind”: “Messaging”,
  “tags”: {},
  “properties”: {
    “provisioningState”: “Succeeded”,
    “status”: “Active”,
    “createdAt”: “2016-05-10T12:00:00.000Z”,
    “serviceBusEndpoint”: “https://sampleServiceBus.servicebus.windows.net:443/”,
    “enabled”: true,
    “critical”: false,
    “updatedAt”: “2016-05-10T12:00:00.000Z”,
    “eventHubEnabled”: true,
    “namespaceType”: “Messaging”,
    “messagingSku”: 2
  }
}

You should have the following

  • Click on “PUT” button and that’s it!

Integrate SQL Server with Power BI

One of the most common scenarios for those who use Microsoft technologies and intend to publish its data into Power BI typically use SQL Server as a data source.

Power BI provides several ways to access SQL Server information, among them there are some that need simple configurations and others that require developments. Below we summarize the different possibilities that you have available:

Power BI has a wide range of connector to access to several types of data sources, these include a connector for Azure SQL Database and one for Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

To access to a SQL Server, whether it be an instance of Azure IaaS or On-Premises instance you can use Power BI Gateways. There is a Power BI Enterprise Gateway for enterprise deployments and a Power BI Personal Gateway for personal use. You can download it directly from Power BI portal and install in a server near your SQL Server.

For additional information about Power BI Gateways refer to https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/gateway/.

Both these features support direct query option, that is SQL Server is queried when the user accesses the report or dashboard. Typically you prefer to schedule the frequency of the update. You can schedule updates every few minutes.

If you want to get a dashboard that receives continuous updates getting the effect of a live dashboard you need to perform simple developments.

To update a Power BI dataset you can use different Microsoft Azure functionality:

Windows Azure Event Hubs + Windows Azure Stream Analytics

Power BI REST API

Both techniques need configuration on Microsoft Azure side and a Windows service that resides in the same network of your SQL Server that is responsible for reading the information and send them to the Cloud.

This approach allows you to make updates with a frequency close to the second.

Use Windows Azure Event Hubs and Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics is simpler and the Power BI dataset is created automatically, but with this technique, you can only insert new information.

The Power BI APIs are a bit more complex but allow several types of operations. For example it is possible to empty the dataset before inserting new information.

However, you must manually create the data set.

You can download a Windows service sample at the address http://db2powerbi.codeplex.com/. This simple solution it able to use both techniques. It is enough to apply a configuration to the QueryConfig.json file and write a query file. The project includes a console (DbToP Svc.Power Bi.UI.exe) that allows you to create the dataset and retrieve its id (required in the configuration file).

Below is an example of Query Config.json file.

As I said, before starting the service you need to apply some Microsoft Azure side configurations.

You can follow the article https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/stream-analytics-power-bi-dashboard/ to configure Windows Azure Event Hubs and a Stream Analytics Job.

You have to follow the article https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-developer-register-a-client-app/ before use Power BI REST API.

Integrate Azure SQL Database and OneDrive with Logic Apps

This sample shows how to read information from an Azure SQL Database and send them to OneDrive folder using a simple Logic Apps.

I will use a polling statement in order to intercept new data available on SQL Database, transform to a new information schema and then write a XML formatted file in an OneDrive folder.

Following I will demonstrate how to setup the sample environment, how to configure the connection to Azure SQL Database and then how to create the integration flow using Azure Logic Apps.

Setup Environment

First of all, you need to create a resource group that will contains the SQL Database instance and all the other items needed for Logic Apps.

To create a resource group, navigate the new azure portal, click on Resource groups and click on Add.

Specify a Resource group name and then click on Create.

Now you are able to create a SQL Database instance. To do that select SQL Databases from the portal and select Add.

You can choose to add the database to an existing server or create a new server. In this demonstration, I have created a new server.

Once you have specified the server name, the user name and password you will use to connect to the database, the resource group previously created and the database name click on the create button to complete the operation.

Now you need to open the Azure firewall in order to connect to the database using Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio. So click on server name link.

Then click on Show firewall settings link.

The interface will show you the current IP address of your machine. So click on Ass client IP.

Save the setting.

After a few seconds, the firewall will be updated.

Now you are ready to connect to the SQL database instance. Open SQL Server Management Studio console and connect to the database using the SQL Server Authentication. Provide the credential you have chosen in the previous step.

Now you are connected to the Azure database.

Now, we have to create the table that contains the information that the Logic Apps will intercepts and will sent to OneDrive.

Click on new query and run the following statement.

— Source Table

CREATE
TABLE [dbo].[SourceTable]

(

    [sourceTableId] [int] NOT
NULL,

    [transactionStatus] [varchar](10)
NOT
NULL,

    [transactionId] [uniqueidentifier] NULL,

    [sampleContent] [varchar](100)
NOT
NULL,

    CONSTRAINT [PK_SourceTable] PRIMARY
KEY
CLUSTERED

    (

    [sourceTableId] ASC

    )

)

GO

— Available Statement

CREATE
PROCEDURE [dbo].[AvailableStmt]

AS

BEGIN

    SELECT

        COUNT(*)

    FROM

        SourceTable

    WHERE

        transactionStatus =
‘To Process’;

END

GO

— Polling Statement

CREATE
PROCEDURE [dbo].[PollingStmt]

AS

BEGIN

    DECLARE @transactionId UNIQUEIDENTIFIER
=
NEWID();

    UPDATE SourceTable

    SET

        transactionStatus =
‘Processed’,

        transactionId = @transactionId

    WHERE

        transactionStatus =
‘To Process’;


    SELECT

        sourceTableId,

        sampleContent

    FROM

        SourceTable WITH (NOLOCK)

    WHERE

        transactionId = @transactionId;

END

GO

Create the Microsoft SQL Connector

Once you have created all you need on SQL Server, you can define the database connection. From the portal home page click on Marketplace.

Find for Microsoft SQL Connector.

Select the connector and click on Create.

Specify a Name, a Logic App Plan (or create a new one) a resource group and then click on Create.

Now you have to specify the server name, the user name and password, the database name.

Scrolling down you have to specify the most important things: The Available Statement and the Polling Statement. The first one is the statement that checks for new information on the database. The second one, gets the information and make them available for the process.

Create the Artifact

In this demonstration, we will transform the information coming from the SQL database to a different information scheme. To do this we will need a map.

You can define a map using Visual Studio and Microsoft Azure BizTalk Services SDK available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39087.

First, we need to download the schema that will act as a source schema.

To do that, navigate the portal in the all resources list and select the connection to SQL Server previously created. Then select the Download Schema link.

After installed Microsoft Azure BizTalk SDK, open Visual Studio and create a new project of type BizTalk Service Artifact.

Delete al unneeded objects created by the project template.

Then import the schema downloaded in the previous step.

Now, create a new schema that will acts as the target schema. Following just a simple schema.

Finally you can create a new map to transform the source schema.

Define the mapping rules.

Close and save the project.

Now we will define a transformation service on Azure that will contains the map.

From the Azure Marketplace find for BizTalk Transform Service.

Select and specify a name, an App Service Plan (this must be the same used by the SQL Connector) and click on Create.

Navigate the Transform Service and select Maps.

In the right panel will compare a new form with a list of maps. Clock on Add.

Select the “trfm” file created by Visual Studio Solution.

Create the Logic App

Now you are ready to create the Logic App.

Navigate the Azure Portal, select Logic Apps and click on Add.

Specify Logic App name, the resources group and click on create.

Once the Logic App is created click on Edit.

There are many Logic App templates. In this demonstration I choose a blank Logic App selecting “Create from Scratch”.

On the right panel select the “Microsoft SQL Connector” created previously.

Specify “Poll Data (XML)”.

Specify the polling interval. Depending on the Pricing Tier you can specify different measures as polling interval.

Confirm your selection and select “BizTalk Transform Service”.

Click on Arrow to start the configuration.

Then click on Tranform.

Choose the output of Microsoft SQL Connector as map input transform.

Then specify (manually) the map name.

Finally select the OneDrive connector.

You have to autorize the access to your OneDrive subscription.

Then I chosen “Upload a file”.

Specify a File Path and the Transform output as file content.

In this case no content transfer encoding is needed so specify “none”.

Once the configuration is completed, you should see the following integration flow.

Test the sample

To test the sample is enough to insert a row into SQL database table. You can use the following statement to do that.

insert
into SourceTable

(

    sourceTableId,

    transactionStatus,

    sampleContent

)

values

(

    1,

    ‘To Process’,

    ‘Content to transfer’

);

After a few seconds, you should see the file into your OneDrive subscription.

In the following picture, you can see the content of the result file.

Integration Monday – High available BizTalk infrastructure on Azure IaaS

I’m really pleased to announce that on 4 May Massimo Crippa and me will present my work about BizTalk HA on Microsoft Azure to the integration Monday (http://www.eventbrite.com/e/integration-monday-2015-05-04-massimo-salvatore-tickets-16540234286?aff=estw).

I am very honored that Michael Stephenson gave me this opportunity.

I hope to meet his expectations.

It is a pleasure to work with Massimo who was a colleague of mine at Microsys for 10 years, and now is doing a great experience of working and living at Codit.