Announcing Android Support for Mobile Services

by on March 7, 2013

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I'm extremely excited to announce the release of our official Android SDK for Windows Azure Mobile Services. Android developers now have easy access to structured data storage, authentication, push notifications using Google Cloud Messaging(GCM) and more in the form of a native Java SDK. This SDK joins the Windows Store, Windows Phone 8, and iOS SDKs that we've already released. When we first launched Mobile Services, we said our goal was to enable any application developer to connect their app to a backend hosted in Windows Azure. Today’s announcement means that even more mobile developers can be Microsoft developers by easily consuming Windows Azure services for their backend.

For this release, the Windows Azure team worked with Microsoft Open Technologies. MS Open Tech developed the SDK and the Windows Azure team worked on the portal integration and push notifications. The native Java SDK for Android developers can be used for applications destined for the Google Play Store, Amazon App Store, or any other Android app store. Additionally, integrated support for push notifications with GCM has been added to server scripts. Like the other Mobile Services SDKs, the Android SDK will be open sourced on GitHub. You can access the GitHub repository here. Going forward, the plan is to keep improvements to each SDK the same when possible.

New Content

WindowsAzure.com – Developers will see changes to the Mobile Services Dev Center at WindowsAzure.com.  These changes include Android focused tutorials on creating a new mobile service, getting started with data, and handling user authentication.  These will join the tutorials already present for the other client platforms.

Android Samples - We've created two samples that are focused on demonstrating common scenarios when using Mobile Services with Android.  Both of these scenarios focus on the data storage aspect of Mobile Services though we'll be adding samples that take advantage of the other capabilities of Mobile Services soon. 

 

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Feedback

This sample demonstrates how you can use Mobile Services to get feedback data from your application and store it to Mobile Services.  The sample was built so that a developer could easily take the code and UI involved and place it into their own applications.  You can access the GitHub repo for this sample here.

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Tic Tac Toe Leaderboard

This sample demonstrates how you can use Mobile Services to store and serve up a leaderboard for a game.  In this scenario the game is Tic Tac Toe, and each win, loss, or tie will be recorded for the current player.  The leaderboard will display each player ranked from best to worst.  You can access the GitHub repo for this sample here.

As always, stay tuned to my twitter feed for Windows 8, Windows Azure and other Microsoft developer announcements, updates, and links: @clinted



Check Out the New Windows Azure Hub on Channel 9

by on February 28, 2013

Several weeks ago we launched a new hub for Windows Azure on Channel 9. This hub will serve as an index and entry point for all video content related to Windows Azure. Since the launch we have already made progress on building a video library to help developers get started learning Windows Azure. Introduction videos have been created for core services like Mobile Services, Web Sites, Cloud Services, and SQL Databases. This page also features three video series: Cloud Cover, Web Camps TV, and Subscribe!. Finally, this page highlights videos that have been recorded at events like BUILD and TechEd.

Series

Below you will find a list of the series that we have launched. More videos and series will be added at later dates.

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Windows Azure Mobile Services

App development with a scalable and secure backend hosted in Windows Azure. Incorporate structured storage, user authentication and push notifications in minutes.

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Windows Azure Media Services
Create, manage and distribute media in the cloud. This PaaS offering provides everything from encoding to content protection to streaming and analytics support.

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Windows Azure Virtual Machines & Networking

Easily deploy and run Windows Server and Linux virtual machines. Migrate applications and infrastructure without changing existing code.

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Windows Azure Web Sites

Quickly and easily deploy sites to a highly scalable cloud environment that allows you to start small and scale as traffic grows.

Use the languages and open source apps of your choice then deploy with FTP, Git and TFS. Easily integrate Windows Azure services like SQL Database, Caching, CDN and Storage.

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Windows Azure Cloud Services

Create highly-available, infinitely scalable applications and services using a rich Platform as a Service (PaaS) environment. Support multi-tier scenarios, automated deployments and elastic scale.

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Windows Azure Storage & SQL Database

Windows Azure offers multiple services to help manage your data in the cloud. SQL Database enables organizations to rapidly create, scale and extend applications into the cloud with familiar tools and the power of Microsoft SQL Server™ technology. Tables offer NoSQL capabilities at a low cost for applications with simple data access needs. Blobs provide inexpensive storage for data such as video, audio, and images.

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Windows Azure Service Bus Tutorials

Service Bus is messaging infrastructure that sits between applications allowing them to exchange messages in a loosely coupled way for improved scale and resiliency.

As always, stay tuned to my twitter feed for Windows 8, Windows Azure and other Microsoft developer announcements, updates, and links: @clinted



New Windows Azure Mobile Services iOS Samples Available

by on February 25, 2013

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I'm excited to share the news that we have released a number of new iOS samples for Windows Azure Mobile Services. These samples demonstrate common scenarios that developers will run into when using Mobile Services. All of these samples have been open sourced on GitHub and are available today.

 

Event Buddy

This is an iOS version of the EventBuddy samples already released for the Windows Store and Windows Phone 8. It enables you to view events and the sessions that correspond to those events.  You also have the ability to add new events and sessions from the app. Finally, you can view the details for each session and provide a rating for it. This is a great sample app to demonstrate as we now have versions that run on Windows Store, Windows Phone 8, and iOS. Once the Android SDK is released, we'll be looking to release an Android version as well.

Source in GitHub

 

Tic Tac Toe Leaderboard

This sample demonstrates how to make a simple leaderboard that is stored in Mobile Services and displayed in the application. The game in this application is Tic Tac Toe and each player's wins, losses, and ties are recorded and then shown on the scores screen.

Source in GitHub

 

Feedback

This sample shows an easy way to put a feedback form into an iOS application to capture feedback and store it in Mobile Services. In this scenario, the user can enter comments, their email address, and a 1 – 5 star rating before submitting their feedback. Additionally, this sample was generated so the files used to enter the feedback and send it to Mobile Services can be copied into a different iOS project with minimal effort.

Source in GitHub

 

Each sample includes some set up information in it's README. Additionally, we'll be adding more samples for iOS as time goes on. Finally, we'll be changing the link to Samples on the Mobile Services Dev Center to provide a separate page for samples for different operating systems. This should make it easier for developers to find the samples they are looking for.