Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. created a new AppGateway, an application of VPN access for Android and iOS based on the preview of a Windows Azure Application Gateway service meant to help mobile users be more productive on the go.
For obvious security reasons, connecting to resources that are behind a firewall usually requires a fairly complex infrastructure such as VPN (Virtual Private Network).
The AppGateway demo app is "designed in collaboration with the Windows Azure Active Directory team, for Android and iOS users to experience easy yet highly secured connectivity," Microsoft wrote.
The mobile app connects to a service on Windows Azure that acts as the proxy to an agent that is running inside the network behind the firewall.
Using the Windows Azure Authentication service, the proxy can establish a trusted connection to the agent so that the application on the mobile device can browse web sites that would not be normally accessible outside the corporate network.
The demo app is available on the Apple App Store, GooglePlay and Amazon marketplaces at the following links:
Microsoft has also released an update to the Windows Azure Toolkit for Eclipse. This latest version - the May 2013 Preview (or v2.0.0) - includes a number of new improvements to further simplify your Java work in the Windows Azure cloud.
This major update accompanies the release of the Windows Azure SDK v2.0.
"The latest SDK distribution of the Windows Azure Libraries for Java are packaged along with their open-source dependencies as an Eclipse library and referred to as the Package for Windows Azure Libraries for Java (by MS Open Tech). If your Java code needs to take advantage of the Windows Azure API, just add this library to the build path of your Java project (not the Windows Azure project) and all the needed libraries will be automatically referenced and included in your WAR file," Microsoft stated.
Key enhancements include:
- Automatic upload of the JDK and Server to Windows Azure storage (and deployment from there)
- Centralized storage account tracking
- Simplified Remote Access setup
- Additional enhancements include:
- fixed sticky sessions on Windows Server 2012 (previously limited to Windows 2008);
- package publish performance improvements that can make the upload portion of the deployment process up to twice as fast as in previous releases, especially helpful if you're not using the "deploy from download" options, but still embedding large components in the deployment package itself.
- made a number of bug fixes, including some reported issues related to deploying Tomcat and Jetty on Windows 2012 from a cloud download.