Create a scalable and secure backend for your Windows, Android, and iOS apps
Mobile Services allows you to accelerate your mobile app development by providing a turnkey way to structure storage, authenticate users, and send push notifications. With SDKs for Windows, Android, iOS, and HTML as well as a powerful and flexible REST API, Mobile Services lets you to build connected applications for any platform and deliver a consistent experience across devices.
Use Mobile Services to:
Store data in the cloud
Mobile Services offers a straightforward way to store data in the cloud using Windows Azure SQL database, blob storage, table storage or third party data services like Mongo DB. Mobile Services and Service Bus Relay also provide the option to connect to on-premises databases so that sensitive data can be accessed on mobile devices without saving that data in the cloud. This wide variety of data options makes it easy to add a global leaderboard to cross-platform games, maintain a friends list, store user-generated images and videos, and even transactional information.
Easily authenticate users
Mobile Services eliminates the need to write, configure, and test custom authentication systems. By copying over the App ID and Secret for Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, or Google account, you can authenticate your users with only a few lines of code. Implementing an app-specific authentication system is of course supported, as is connecting to Windows Azure Active Directory for employee-facing mobile apps.
Send push notifications
Sending push notifications is as simple as uploading your developer credentials for a given platform and typing push.apns.send for iOS, push.gcm.send for Android, etc. You can also connect to Notification Hubs to broadcast push notifications to millions of devices across a variety of popular platforms.
Consume your favorite services
Simple server-side code allows you to enhance your data operations with custom logic. Using server-side code, you can send push notifications, SMS, or email, connect to other Windows Azure services, utilize add-ons from the Windows Azure Store, and consume any third party services with an exposed API. You can also set this code to run on a fixed schedule, which allows you to periodically purge old or duplicate data from tables, process and resize user submitted images, as well as query aggregate data from an external web service.
Monitor, alert, and auto scale (preview)
Windows Azure provides a number of capabilities that help you better understand the health of your applications. You can monitor the health and availability of your applications via health metrics dashboard. You can set up alert rules to be notified when your service availability is degraded. Windows Azure allows you to configure your application to automatically scale up or down to match the current demands while minimizing costs via auto scale rules. This feature is available in the Basic and Standard tiers and allows you to scale within a tier, but not between tiers. To automatically scale, choose 'ON' under the 'Configure' tab and set the minimum and maximum number of units. When this feature is enabled, Windows Azure periodically checks the daily number of API calls to and from your service and will scale up by an additional unit if you are above 90% of your API quota (until reaching the set maximum). At the beginning of each day, Windows Azure will scale back down to the set minimum. Generally, you should set the minimum at a level that meets your expected daily traffic and allows for small spikes; you should set your maximum at a level that allows for large, unexpected bursts of activity. Health and availability monitoring, auto scaling, and alterting are available at no additional cost while in preview.
Mobile Services is backed by a high availability service level agreement. To start building cloud connected mobile apps, you will need an account. Sign up for the free trial here.
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