We review microfluidic platforms that enable the miniaturization, integration and automation of biochemical assays. Nowadays nearly an unmanageable variety of alternative approaches exists that can do this in principle. Here we focus on those kinds of platforms only that allow performance of a set of microfluidic functions--defined as microfluidic unit operations-which can be easily combined within a well defined and consistent fabrication technology to implement application specific biochemical assays in an easy, flexible and ideally monolithically way. The microfluidic platforms discussed in the following are capillary test strips, also known as lateral flow assays, the "microfluidic large scale integration" approach, centrifugal microfluidics, the electrokinetic platform, pressure driven droplet based microfluidics, electrowetting based microfluidics, SAW driven microfluidics and, last but not least, "free scalable non-contact dispensing". The microfluidic unit operations discussed within those platforms are fluid transport, metering, mixing, switching, incubation, separation, droplet formation, droplet splitting, nL and pL dispensing, and detection.