Windows Azure Mobile, Web Sites, SQL Data Sync, ACS, Media Services Updates, Azure Store Expansion Annouces

A number of enhancements to Windows Azure, including: "Mobile, Web Sites, SQL Data Sync, ACS, Media," are all now live in production and available to use immediately--along with the expansion of Windows Azure Store in more countries."Windows Azure Store" previously "only" available in the United States, this week, expands to number of new countries enabling […]

A number of enhancements to Windows Azure, including: "Mobile, Web Sites, SQL Data Sync, ACS, Media," are all now live in production and available to use immediately--along with the expansion of Windows Azure Store in more countries.

"Windows Azure Store" previously "only" available in the United States, this week, expands to number of new countries enabling easy subscribe to services provided by 3rd party Microsoft partners - and have them automatically added to your Windows Azure bill.

To try it out, select the New->Store command within the portal and sign-up for one of the services in it today.

Windows Azure Mobile Services Preview adds job scheduler support

The Windows Azure features received update include:

Windows Mobile Services Preview now supports the ability to easily schedule background jobs (aka CRON jobs) that execute on a pre-set timer interval in the background. "This new job scheduler capability makes it incredibly easy to integrate background work within your Mobile Service (without having to create or manage a separate VM to run it in)," Microsoft stated.

Also, added support to Europe region, before this update it was only supported in the US East and US West regions of Windows Azure.

And, the Command Line, a cross-platform tool now supported on Azure (a.k.a 'azure') allows you to manage Windows Azure Web Sites, VMs and other services from the command line on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Web Sites (scale improvements, integrated source control). The new Custom Create Workflow for websites allows you to configure source control settings as part of the site creation (instead of having to do it after the fact). Choose the NEW->Website->Custom Create command to try this out.

SQL Data Sync now support in the new HTML Windows Azure Management Portal--that lets you synchronize data between multiple SQL databases. "To use SQL Data Sync, go to the SQL Databases section of the new Windows Azure Management Portal and click on the new ADD SYNC command in the bottom tray of it."

Windows Azure Active Directory Access Control Management (ACS) namespaces are now suppoted from the new HTML5 portal--that lets you authenticate and authorize users for your web applications and services, while allowing authentication and authorization features to be factored out of your code.

Media Service contains a number of great enhancements to Windows Azure Media Services:

  • Job and Task Management lets you track the progress and history of your media encoding jobs from within the Windows Azure Portal.
  • Adding Content from Windows Azure Storage lets you choose existing media files from Windows Azure Blob Storage, thereby reducing your upload latency.
  • Reserved Capacity for Media Service Jobs. "Using the new SCALE page, you can reserve encoding units that let you encode multiple tasks concurrently and have even more processing power reserved for your media workflows," informs Microsoft.

Virtual Networking simplifies "Custom Create" experience to make creating more advanced scenarios easier as well.

Subscription Filtering UI now appears next to your user name in the top right-hand side of the Windows Azure portal to help filter your views by one or more subscriptions. "Selecting it will display a drop-down list that enables you to quickly filter which subscriptions you want to see in the portal," Microsoft adds.