This session will be facilitated by myself and all questions answered by Microsoft Evangelist Andrew Coates (linkedin | twitter | blog). Andrew Coates has been a Developer Evangelist at Microsoft for over ten years. During that time he’s focused on .Net development on the desktop, in the cloud, on the web and, most recently, on mobile devices. Andrew has a number of apps in various stores and generally has far too much fun doing his job to honestly be able to call it work.
What is Azure? Writing a back end for disparate front-end clients including iOS, Android, Windows and HTML has never been easier with Microsoft Azure Mobile Services (MAMS), but the RESTful WebAPI pieces are only a small part of the story. MAMS provides a rich suite of common services including Authentication against corporate and social identity providers, Notifications that scale to the millions across Apple, Google and Microsoft notifications services and an offline data sync framework that works across all the major mobile platforms. Read all about Azure in the first Q&A thread.
There are a total of 8 PowerBanks as described in the image above. Each session will contain two winners.
A judging panel consisting of SitePoint staff will judge SitePoint Forum members, 2 in each Microsoft session, based on the quality of questions asked and the quality of their participation in the session. The judges decision is final.
The winners will be contacted via Private Message and in the event they do not respond, will be contacted via email where there email is known. Winners will need to provide a valid mailing address.
Let’s kick off with this question from Ciaran: Is there a version of Azure that can be set up and used inside an organisation, so that it can be used internally? Something like Google for work for example.
Lots of Government departments around the world are using public cloud infrastructure. Each juridstiction has slightly different circumstances, but in general there has been a move to adopt the cloud to take advantage of the elasticity, the speed to deployment and the economies of scale that the public cloud provides.
Some governments are setting up their own data centres to provide this across their departments, but many are taking advantage of the existing cloud infrastructure.
As I said on Monday, there’s always something new coming out
To me, the thing that makes Azure stand out is its plethora of services from media to identity, to mobile notifications, to caching and more. Most impotantly though, the integration and management of these services makes using them at any scale, from individual to huge enterprise, easier and more efficient.
The Azure Notification Hubs (used by Mobile Services) are (I think) unique because they wrap the complexity of communicating with the three major notifications services from Apple, Google and Windows. You can send the one notification to the service and have it distributed, at massive scale, to all three. If you wanted to write and maintain that infrastructure yourself, you’d spend lots of your time keeping up wit what’s changed and making fixes. The beauty of having someone else (in this case, Microsoft) do all that is that you can get on with writing your unique application, and leave the common stuff to someone else.
(I’m wearing my TechEd 2013 shirt today and it says “only write the code that only you can write”)
Essentially, you get the user of your app to register for notifications with the service, and then when you want to send a notification you send a message to the service, and it handles the complexity of sending the notification to the appropriate registered users.