Digital Technology

Integrating Legacy Applications into Azure

Integrating legacy applications into Microsoft Azure has never been easier

Every year businesses around Australia spend a significant amount of time and money maintaining their legacy and on-premises applications. With recent advances in cloud technologies including Microsoft Azure Cloud, enterprises can now move their legacy applications to a better infrastructure which enables faster development, higher cybersecurity resiliency and a lower cost to deliver. However, integrating these legacy applications has proven challenging which is why we have written this blog.

The challenge: 

Most organisations in Australia have a large number of legacy applications that run operational and sometimes mission critical services. These legacy applications can be traditional commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products such as JD Edwards ERP systems or on-premises SAP applications, or they can be custom coded specifically to the organisation.

The trouble with integrating these legacy applications into cloud environments (specifically Azure cloud) is that they are coded and built using traditional methods, rules and logic. A number of pre-built connectors may help ease integration flow, however custom features within these applications often means data sources and specific batch data needs to have their own integration system, usually via an API. 

There are several ways in which enterprises can integrate their legacy applications into the Azure cloud. This often creates confusion amongst Australian organisations in choosing the right integration strategy that is the best fit for their legacy application.

How to integrate your legacy application with Azure cloud:

Amongst many, we have listed seven ways that you can integrate your legacy applications in Azure cloud: 

  1. By incorporating the best of Azure Integration Services (see our latest blog here for reference);
  2. Through virtual machines: deploy your legacy applications on Azure virtual machines and integrate them with other services for backup monitoring and scaling;
  3. Installing Azure API Management: publish and manage API’s for your legacy applications through Azure API management and provide secure, scalable and managed access to your legacy applications within the cloud;
  4. Implementing Azure Service Bus: use Azure Service Bus to decouple the communication between your legacy applications and other systems and provide a reliable messaging solution for integration at scale;
  5. Configuring Azure Event Grid: Use a simple HTTP-based event delivery mechanism as opposed to a more complex and traditional messaging system such as SOA; and
  6. Connecting with Azure Logic Apps: Create simple workflows and automations to run business processes with little to no code. This allows you to access data and build ‘next step’ workflows based on pre-built connectors. 

To prepare your on-premises application for integration into Azure we recommend you do this:

  1. Identify data migration strategies and plan how you will migrate your application data to Azure considering options such as backup and restore, data recovery, data ingestion and data deduplication;
  2. Assess your application architecture: decide if you need to re-factor, re-use, re-purpose, re-platform, re-build, re-host, retire or retain your application and how that process flows over the migration strategy;
  3. Evaluate integration security: evaluate the security of your application from a code and an API base. Plan how you will secure the application and its connectivity points inside Azure including authentication, authorisation, API security, network security and data encryption; 
  4. Evaluate scalability: Assess the scalability requirements of your application and plan for how you will scale your application in Azure, factoring in for scenarios where peak usage is required or where rapid change into the integration layer is required – i.e. a mergers and acquisitions scenario; 
  5. Test the integration: Perform a test integration in a containerised environment of your application into Azure cloud and identify any bottlenecks or performance issues; and 
  6. Monitor and develop an ongoing management plan for the integration of the application in the cloud. Ongoing management, API call consolidation and Azure performance optimising takes time and expertise, so consider outsourcing this to an expert integration specialist with Azure competencies, such as IntegrationWorks. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the different types of integration solutions available for Azure cloud and you need some advice on the best path forward for your organisation, make contact with the team at IntegrationWorks Australia. Our team of Integration Specialists, Architects and Engineers will help guide you through the complex Azure cloud integration world and ensure that your applications are performing at their best in a secure environment with scalability in the cloud with a long-term future.

For more information, contact us here:

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