Apr 20, 2017

Two Ways To Build a Recursive Logic App

Mostly everything is possible. It's always a question of how much time and energy we have. The other day I was building an Azure Logic App, and need it to make it recursive. First, I thought that couldn't be a problem because we can easily call a Logic APP from another one. This is right, nested Logic App is possible, but it's only possible to call another one. The "compilator" doesn't allow to do recursive call. I quickly found a workaround, but the day after I came to a cleaner solution.

In this post, I will share both ways to create a recursive call of a Logic App.

Commun Parts

Let's assume that our goal is to crawl a folder structure. It could be in any file connector: DroxBox, OneDrive, Google Drive, etc. For this post, I will use Sharepoint Online connector.

First, let's create our Logic App. Use the Http Request-Response template.

  1. Our Logic App will receive the folder path, that it needs to process, as a parameter. This is easily done by defining a JSON schema in the Request trigger.
        "$schema": "http://json-schema.org/draft-04/schema#",
        "properties": {
            "FolderName": {
            "type": "string"
        "type": "object"
  2. To list all the content of the current folder. Add an action List folder from the SharePoint Online connector. The File identifier should be the trigger parameter: FolderName.

    Note: You need to edit the code behind for this action. I notice a strange behavior with space in the folder path.

    The current code should look like this:
    "path": "/datasets/@{encodeURIComponent(encodeURIComponent('https://mysharepoint.sharepoint.com/sites/FrankSiteTest'))}/folders/@{encodeURIComponent(triggerBody()?['FolderName'])}" 

    Change it by doubling the encodeURIComponent
    "path": "/datasets/@{encodeURIComponent(encodeURIComponent('https://mysharepoint.sharepoint.com/sites/FrankSiteTest'))}/folders/@{encodeURIComponent(encodeURIComponent(triggerBody()?['FolderName']))}" 
  3. For each element returned we need to check if it's a folder. One property of the returned object is IsFolder, we just need to use it in our condition:
    @equals(bool(item()?['IsFolder']), bool('True'))
    1. If it's a folder, we need to do some recursive call passing the path of the current folder to FolderName.
    2. Otherwise, when it's a file, do some process.


Method 1: The quick and easy

Since we are forced to call a different Logic App, let's clone our Logic App. Close the editor and click the Clone button, name it FolderCrawler2.


Now we need to edit both Logic apps by adding a call to the other one. FolderCrawler is calling FolderCrawler2 and FolderCrawler2 calls FolderCrawler.


This method is really just a workaround, but it works perfectly. What I like about it is that it uses all the Intellisense at our disposal in the editor. Obviously, the big disadvantage is the code duplication.

Method 2: The Clean and light

The real way to do a recursive call is to use the URL from the Request in an HTTP POST call. Than in the body pass a JSON matching the schema containing the Path value.


I hope you enjoy this little post. If you think of another way to do recursive call or if you have some questions, let me know!

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