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Windows Azure Updates: Job Scheduler, Command Line Support, ACS and Media

by Anand Narayanaswamy on Jan 09, 2013 |

Microsoft recently released several updates for Windows Azure with which you will be able you to easily schedule background jobs that execute on a pre-set timer interval that can run independently of a device accessing the service. The update also enables you to create mobile services in the North Europe region in addition to US East and West regions which was introduced in the previous releases.

The background jobs also named as cron, enables you to perform a wide range of useful tasks such as periodically purging old or duplicate data from the tables, querying and aggregating data from external web services such as tweets and caching then in the tables for future use including the ability to process and resize images submitted by users. It is also possible to schedule delivery of push notifications or SMS messages to arrive at a fixed time of the day.

You can register background tasks by navigating to the new Scheduler tab of your mobile service in the portal, and then by clicking the Create button. The scheduler interface includes a new functionality named Run Once which enables you to test your script before you enable the job for recurring execution.

The Windows Azure team has added mobile support for the cross-platform command line tool - azure, which was released in 2012 and it enables you to create a new mobile service directly from the command line without any portal interaction.

The latest update provides an ability for a website to scale up to run across 6 shared instances and 10 reserved VM instances with the ability to make use of small, medium or large sized VMs thus enabling you to scale up or down your web site resources.

Microsoft has added a new custom create workflow for setting up websites that allows you to configure source control settings as part of the site creation. After selecting Publish from Source Control option, you have to select any one of the source control type such as TFS or Git. The Git source control allows you to push either from a local repository or associate with a Git enabled hosting provider such as Codeplex, GitHub or Bitbucket.

The recently updated Windows Azure Management Portal enables you to create SQL Data Sync services and Windows Azure Active Directory Access Control Namespaces. It also includes several enhancements for Windows Azure Media Services such as job and task management, ability to add content from a Windows Azure Storage Account and scaling media services account.

Microsoft has simplified the creation of virtual network workflow and added support for subscription filtering within the Windows Azure Portal including the availability of Windows Azure in more countries.

Scott Cate, Microsoft MVP

This update is awesome. Totally unexpected. The filtered subscriptions will really help out the UI for me. Also looking fwd to playing with the new cron jobs

@CanadianJames

A great point here that I think you should point out is that the addition of WAMS console support is going to easily facilitate service-side scripts under local source control in a CI environment.  This is a big hurtle to clear for a lot of teams. With console support, I can do a post-build action that pushes the scripts to the service.  This is great news.

Marius

I've been waiting for long for the filter subscription ??. What about Azure IaaS? It is you that communicates on that also, Scott?

JasonB

Thank you for all these great feature additions! There is never a dull moment with Azure - something new every month to try it out. I love the new HTML portal - everything just fits in nicely. It makes it so easy to discover and use all the new features. You have a great team Scott!

Eric Hexter

The frequent delivery to the service is amazing.  great release, and I cannot wait to see whats next!

 

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misleading title of post by June Tabadero

the title is misleading as it implies that Windows Azure Mobile Services supports SQL Data Sync Service. WAMS has nothing to do with Data Sync.

this post should be title Windows Azure Services announcements rather than Windows Mobile Services alone.

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