New Mobile Services Samples

Our goal for Windows Azure is to power the world’s apps—apps across every platform and device from developers using their preferred languages, tools and frameworks. We took a another step toward delivering on the promise with the recent general availability announcement of Mobile Services. 

Here’s a quick look at the new samples:
  • Web and mobile app for a marketing contest
  • Integration scenarios utilizing Service Bus Relay and BizTalk
  • Samples from SendGrid, Twilio, Xamarin and Redbit
  • Mobile Services sessions from //build

We hope these will serve as inspiration for your own mobile application development.  

Web and mobile app for a marketing contest

The best user experience is one that’s consistent across every web and mobile platform.  Windows Azure Mobile Services and Web Sites allow you to do just that for both core business applications and for brand applications.   By sharing an authentication system and database or storage container between your web and mobile apps, as seen in the following demo, you can drive engagement and empower your users regardless of their access point.

In the following videos, Nik Garkusha demonstrates how Mobile Services and Web Sites can be used to create a consistent set of services used as a backend for an iOS app and a .NET web admin portal. 


In Part 1, Nik covers using multiple authentication providers, reading/Writing data with tables and interacting with Windows Azure blob storage.


In Part 2, Nik continues by creating the admin portal using Web Sites, using with Custom API for cross-platform push notifications, and using Scheduler with 3rd Party add-ons for scripting admin tasks.

Integration scenarios utilizing Service Bus Relay and BizTalk

Modern businesses are often faced with the challenge of innovating and reaching new platforms while also leveraging existing systems.  Using Mobile Services with Service Bus Relay and BizTalk Server makes that possible. 

In the following samples, Paolo Salvatori provides a detailed walk through of how to connect these services to enable such scenarios. 

  • Integrating with a REST Service Bus Relay Service – This sample demonstrates how to integrate Mobile Services with a line of business application running on-premises via Service Bus Relay service and REST protocol.
  • Integrating with a SOAP Service Bus Relay Service – Here, a custom API can is used to invoke a WCF service that uses a BasicHttpRelayBinding endpoint to expose its functionality via a SOAP Service Bus Relay service.
  • Integrating with BizTalk Server via Service Bus – In this walk through, learn how to integrate Mobile Services with line of business applications, running on-premises or in the cloud, via BizTalk Server 2013, Service Bus Brokered Messaging, and Service Bus Relay. The Access Control Service is used to authenticate Windows Azure Mobile Services against the Windows Azure Service Bus. In this scenario, BizTalk Server 2013 can run on-premises or in a Virtual Machine on Windows Azure.
  • Integrating with Windows Azure BizTalk Services – See how to integrate Mobile Services with line of business applications, running on-premises or in the cloud, via Windows Azure BizTalk Services (currently in preview) and Service Bus Relay. The Access Control Service is used to authenticate Mobile Services against the XML Request-Reply Bridge  used by the solution to transform and route messages to the line of business applications.

Samples from SendGrid, Twilio, Xamarin and Redbit 

In March, we reiterated our commitment to making it easy for developers to build and deploy cloud-connected applications for every major mobile platform using their favorite languages, tools, and services.  Today, I’m happy to share updates to both the Mobile Services partner ecosystem and the feature suite that support that ongoing commitment.

Giving developers easy access to their favorite third party services and rich samples for using Mobile Services with those services is one of our team’s highest priorities. When we unveiled the source control and Custom API features, we enabled a range of new scenarios, one of which is a more flexible way to work with third party services. 

Our friends at SendGrid, Twilio, Xamarin and Redbit have all created sample apps to inspire developers to reimagine what’s possible using Mobile Services.

  • SendGrid eliminates the complexity of sending email, saving time and money, while providing reliable delivery to the inbox.  SendGrid released an iOS sample app that accepts and plays emailed song requests.  The SendGrid documentation center and Windows Azure dev center have more information on how send emails from a Mobile Services powered app. 
  • Twilio provides a telephony infrastructure web service in the cloud, allowing developers to integrate phone calls, text messages and IP voice communications into their mobile apps.   Twilio released a iPad sample that allows event organizers to easily capture contact information for volunteers, store it using Mobile Services and enable tap-to-call using Twilio Client.  Twilio also published a new tutorial in the Windows Azure dev center that demonstrates how to use Twilio SMS & voice from a Mobile Services custom API script.
  • Xamarin is a framework that allows developers to create iOS, Android, Mac and Windows apps in C#.  Xamarin’s Craig Dunn recently recorded a video showing developers how to get started building a cloud-connected todolist iOS app in C#. 
  • The SocialCloud app, recently developed by Redbit, underscores the importance of our partner ecosystem. In addition to Mobile Services, Web Sites and the above third party services, SocialCloud also uses Service Bus, Linux VMs, and MongoDB.  
 

Visit the Redbit blog to learn more about how they built SocialCloud and why they decided to use these services together.

Mobile Services sessions from //build

The //build conference was packed with sessions covering every aspect of developing connected applications with Mobile Services.  The best part is that, even if you weren’t in San Francisco, every session is available on Channel 9.  Be sure to check out:

Summary

We’re committed to continuously delivering improvements to both platform and infrastructure services that developers can rely on when building modern consumer and business applications. Expect to see more new and exciting updates from us shortly.  In the meantime I encourage you to:

  • Visit the developer center to get started building mobile and apps 
  • Find answers to your questions in the Windows Azure forums and on Stack Overflow
  • Continue to make feature requests on the Mobile Services uservoice
  • Bookmark http://aka.ms/CommonWAMS to keep the most up to date mobile services samples right at your fingertips 

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas for how we can make Windows Azure better suit your development needs, you can always find me on Twitter

Miranda