Microsoft Q&A with SitePoint: Azure Mobile Services

So, a completely noob question, could someone wanting to build themselves an app (with little or no background in such things) jump on this service and get walked through the process, or is it really an extra tool for experienced app developers to use to take the next step?

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I’d really like to know this as well, scaling to that extent sounds fantastic.

I think the thing that Azure (which includes Azure Mobile Services as one of its offerings) does to help you is that it takes care of the busy work. Whether that’s the infrastructure side of things with networking, storage and operating systems, or the app platform side of things with frameworks and so on, I don’t want to have to do the stuff that someone else can do better, cheaper and faster than me. This is generically true for pretty much any cloud service though.

Azure Mobile Services allows you to create back ends that can be surfaces in native mobile front-ends, so from a performance point of view, you’re taking advantage of the mobile OS’s native controls and rendering. Almost always a better end-user experience.

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I’ve seen the pricing but I find hard to calculate how much I would need to spend… I tried the pricing calculator but…

@AndrewCoates Can you share some of the companies or apps that are currently using Azure?

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The scaling stuff in Notification is phenomenal. We use it for our news notifications, for example, to literally millions of users simultaneously.

Pricing is here: http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/mobile-services/

Moving from one level to the next is simply a matter of flipping a switch in the portal (and agreeing to pay if you haven’t already)

Thanks (re Push)

And interesting about pricing. I’ve seen many many posts where scaling / pricing were a main concern,

I noticed this too

Connect to on-premises data

so that answers my OS question as I’m sure it’s possible to tie in with other intranet apps.

I’m finding my “two finger hunt and peck” typing a bit slow.
Years ago I experimented with voice-to-text and installed text-to-voice on my Windows98
v->t was a horrible experience with a bad mic in a noisy room, but t->v was fun and the little wizard was cute.

Maybe a bit off-topic, but as phones were mentioned, any progress been made over the years?

This is not an uncommon comment. My best answer is to try it out with the free trial http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/ and get a feel for what your app is using. Then try the calculator again. I find it makes more sense after I have a good idea of my architecture.

My worry about pricing that you may need some time to learn and control this technology.
I’ve seen that Microsoft gives you $200 to spend in Azure products when you register for free but… it worries me that they will go so fast that I will not have the time to really control the technology well enough to deply something that can pay for my learning and improving.

edit: I think I should do that :slight_smile:

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It is off topic :smile:

But you want to check out the Cortana services. Very good v->t in the cloud (or locally if you have a constrained vocabulary)

I assume that creating an app in various languages would be as easy (or hard) as with a regular web app… as a non-native English speaker, I certainly hope so :smiley:

@AndrewCoates Does Azure Mobile Services have anything to make internationalization easier?

Thank you @AndrewCoates for all the answers and thank you to everyone for participating! That was a very quick 30 minutes!

Andrew will be back with us on Thursday, two day’s time from now, to answer some follow-up questions on AMS and talk about Notifications as well.

I’ll post his answers to the survey questions soon.

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I assume that you’re talking about localisation, rather than a specific programming language.

Yes, the localisation support is pretty good.

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Thanks a lot for answering @AndrewCoates

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Thanks for participating, @AndrewCoates, and see you Thursday!

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@jasmine and @ophelie Thank you for organizing this session… it really went quick! :smiley:

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Thanks all - I’ve really enjoyed this

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Thanks @AndrewCoates

I’ll miss Agent but Cortana looks promising

I reckon it’s a bit of both. It’s certainly a great start for new developers, and the tutorials and documentation get you up and running quickly.

There’s lots of depth though and mastering it all takes more than a walk through the introductory tutorials.

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Haven’t tried Cortana. I do use voice to open programs and documents sometimes.

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