Windows Azure Mobile Services - a new capability in Windows Azure that makes it incredibly easy to connect your client and mobile applications to a scalable cloud backend -- today received a number of improvements & features include:
Microsoft also promise to release more new features and enhancements coming later this week - including .NET 4.5 support for Windows Azure Web Sites.
Here is what's new in Windows Azure Mobile Services:
First off, Mobile Services is now availabey in West US region.
Facebook, Twitter, and Google Authentication Support. These are now supported with both Windows 8 apps as well as iOS apps (and a single app can support multiple forms of identity simultaneously - so you can offer your users a choice of how to login).
Using Windows Azure Blob, Tables and ServiceBus with your Mobile Services from your Mobile Service server scripts. This is supported using the existing "azure" module within the Windows Azure SDK for Node.js.
Sending emails from your Mobile Service (in partnership with SendGrid). "Whether you want to add a welcome email upon successful user registration, or make your app alert you of certain usage activities, you can do this now by sending email from Mobile Services server scripts," Guthrie writes.
To get started, sign up for SendGrid account at http://sendgrid.com . Windows Azure customers receive a special offer of 25,000 free emails per month from SendGrid. To sign-up for this offer, or get more information, please visit http://www.sendgrid.com/azure.html .
Sending SMS messages from your Mobile Service. Using Mobile Service server scripts and Twilio's REST API, you can now easily send SMS messages to your app.
"To get started, sign up for Twilio account. Windows Azure customers receive 1000 free text messages when using Twilio and Windows Azure together. Once signed up, you can add the following to your Mobile Service server scripts to send SMS messages," explains Guthrie.
iOS Support enabling you to connect iPhone and iPad apps to Mobile Services. The native iOS libraries to enable this are released under an open source Apache 2.0 license on GitHub.
"To create a new iOS app or connect an existing iOS app to your Mobile Service, simply select the "iOS" tab within the Quick Start view of a Mobile Service within the Windows Azure Portal - and then follow either the "Create a new iOS app" or "Connect to an existing iOS app" link below it. Clicking either of these links will expand and display step-by-step instructions for how to build an iOS application that connects with your Mobile Service," Scott Guthrie explains.
Check out the GitHub page.
- Get Started with data in Mobile Services for iOS
- Get Started with authentication in Mobile Services for iOS
- How to register your app with Microsoft Account
- How to register your app with Facebook
- How to register your app with Twitter
- How to register your app with Google
- Get started with authentication in Mobile Services for Windows Store (C#)
- Get started with authentication in Mobile Services for iOS
- Send email from Mobile Services with SendGrid tutorial to learn more
- tutorials on the Windows Azure Node.js dev center.
In other Microsoft cloud related news, the company has just acquried StorSimple Inc. -- a leader in Cloud-integrated Storage (CiS) solutions.
The addition of CiS will advance Microsoft's Cloud OS vision and help customers more efficiently embrace hybrid cloud computing.
In the video below, Michael Park, cvp, Server and Tools Division for Microsoft, and Ursheet Parikh, co-founder and CEO at StorSimple, talk about the significance of Microsoft's intent to acquire StorSimple, a leader in Cloud-integrated Storage solutions.
Update 10/18: Microsoft today closed on the acquisition of "MarketingPilot," that provides integrated marketing management solutions that allow organizations to better understand their customers, manage and streamline marketing operations and create automated and measurable multi-channel marketing campaigns."