As the title suggests, yes Microsoft has announced the Windows Azure Mobile Services a Cloud backend environment for storing the data. As always Microsoft Azure team have made it quite simple to use the Windows Azure Mobile Services to be a backend storage to store the data from a Windows 8 Application and Mobile Application (Windows Phone, IOS, Android will be added in future). With this service developers can store the data on the cloud, use the notification services to send notification from the system and as well authenticate users with the Access controlling system.
As always Microsoft provides more flexible option to the developer’s to concentrate more on the front end designs by making the backend data processing quite easily with few API’s. This services can be used with a fresh application development on Windows 8 or can be used with the existing application as well with few lines of code. Since this services is provided over the Cloud (Azure) we can use this service which can be Scaled up and down based on the needs when the application requires. [more]
This new services is in preview as announced my Mr. Scott Guthire, Corporate Vice President Microsoft on August 28th 2012 which is going to be targeted with most of the devices pretty soon. The data which is going to be saved on the Azure is on top of the SQL Azure which is available with the subscription. So it basically uses the relational way to store the data and it can be used to explore more complex structures if required by the application.
So how it handles data?
Many in their minds raises a question, so how the data is handled form the application to the backend cloud services. I was quite exploring the stuffs and I can see that it uses the REST Endpoints to access the protocol and uses the JSON based formatted ODATA output which is used along with the custom code for the transactions. As of now we can options to manage the data by
- Creating a number of tables
- Browsing the data which are stored
- Setting some indexes for performance
- Controlling access for the data
As in with the other Windows Azure services, the Mobile Services as well have the options to Monitor the usage, Configure the settings, Dynamic Schema Management, Scaling based on the configuration and checking the logs.
So how to start using this service?
To start using the Windows Azure Mobile Service which is in preview, we need a valid subscription (Register for free if not subscribed yet). Once we have a valid subscription, navigate to the Account section and select Preview Option where we can see the Windows Azure Mobile Services Preview lined up with the rest of the preview component. Select the service and we can see our request will be queued which means we need to wait till the request is approved and the component is added to the subscription. We will get a mail from the Microsoft team once the component is added to the subscription and we can see the services is activated with the message as shown below.
So where to start with for developing the application?
Yes the very next question comes to our mind is how we use this service to start developing a Windows 8 application, to start with we need to navigate to the Portal Management and we can see MOBILE tab added to the list of available services as shown in the screen below..
So why to wait, lets start using the Windows Azure Mobile Service and see how its going to be time saving solution for developing our application. Let see in our next tutorial on how to start the service and use it step by step.
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