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Custom Cloud Development in Azure

In this blog, we take a look at some custom cloud development projects that we have undertaken. Developing in Azure gives us a range of tools to work with from The Power Platform, Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Functions to Azure Blob Storage, Azure App Services, Azure Integration Services and more.

Here we take a look at four of our more recent Azure projects that span a range of these cloud development areas.

Azure Power Platform Experience with Evo Group

– The Transport Management System has a decoupled Logic Apps which fetches the Despatch JSON files that are added to Azure SQL Database.
– Records are also updated in Azure SQL and Azure COSMOS DB, with the recipient signature image file updated in real-time in Azure Blob Storage
– Files are polled from an FTP location and updated to the Azure SQL Database and a Logic App with a recurrence Trigger polls the FTP site every 10 minutes.
– Using an FTP Connector, the file contents are retrieved and added to the Azure SQL Database using Azure SQL Connector.

EVO Group - Transport Management System

Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Blob Storage and Azure Functions Experience with a UK Member Association

Cosmos DB was used for the data layer and this was close to Azure Functions for the API. Angular was used for the web client framework and Azure Blob Storage for storing the documentary evidence for each requirement the member had. Azure B2C was chosen to provide the identity service to allow for members to sign up themselves and for the capability to allow the organisations’ staff to sign in with their Office 365/Azure AD logins.

An Angular Bootstrap template was identified that fitted the client’s need for a modern looking application that was responsive and easy to use, and this was then lightly updated to fit the core branding

Azure Dev Ops was utilised throughout for:

– Code repository for all code used as well as migration scripts
– Pipelines to deploy code to every environment with a single build used to deploy with parameters for development, integration, test and live
– Work tracking using Agile Scrum templates
– Automated UI testing against the user story requirements using SpecFlow with Selenium Chrome Driver.

Azure App Services Experience with Appcan

The technology behind the AppCan solution is:

– .NET Web applications on Azure App Services: For customer-specific web sites and the central administration web site
– .NET Web API on Azure App Services: APIs used by mobile devices for sharing data
– Azure File Service: Cloud-based file system for storing documents and images
– SQL Azure: Cloud-based databases hold the master data for the system
– C#, T-SQL, JavaScript and XQuery programming languages for the central systems
– Xamarin for the Mobile application

The system is designed as a serverless Azure application, so there is no need to patch or manage servers. It is designed to auto-scale out to multiple physical servers as load increases, with SQL Azure that can be scaled up and down as load dictates.

Serverless Azure application

Azure Integration Services Experience with The Royal Horticultural Society

– Azure Integration Services was used to integrate the RHS application estate.
– Azure was used as it provided RHS with the ability to scale the services. The additional benefit of the implementation enabled easy integration of the remainder of the RHS application estate by way of Service Bus queues and subscriber services as well as mapping functions that enabled the creation of a Canonical Service Bus that mapped from the membership management system to the API.
– The use of the Master Data Services (MDS) improved the specification of the data to a single golden source for the defined items and allowed for the future integration of data quality tools to ensure that the correct data cascades downstream to other systems, offering a single and consistent view of customer data.

Data Integration Hub

Find Out More About Our Custom Cloud Development

If you are interested in finding out more about these particular custom cloud development projects, follow the links for the EVO Group, UK Member Association, AppCan and Royal Horticultural Society case studies.

If you are would like to find out more about how we deal with Azure Development, you can see our pages on Azure, The Power Platform and Azure Integration Services.

Post Terms: Azure | Azure Integration Services | Cloud | Integration | System integration | The Power Platform

About the Author

As Co-Founder of Ballard Chalmers, Geoff is the company’s CTO, directing technical strategy, overseeing technical consultants, managing larger development projects and ensuring technical delivery quality standards.

Education, Membership & Awards

Geoff graduated from the University of London with a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics and computing and a Masters degree in Database Management Systems. Additionally, he is a certified SQL Server Development, Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) and Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist (MCTS).

His professional memberships include Charted Engineer (Software), Member of the British Computer Society (MBCS), Member of European Federation of Engineers (FEANI) and Fellow of the Institute of Analysts and Programmers (FIAP).


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