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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Consolidates Azure Application Services into App Service

Microsoft Consolidates Azure Application Services into App Service

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Microsoft attempts to bring web, mobile, API and workflow development under one umbrella called App Service. Along with this, Microsoft also added integration for many 3rd party APIs.

During the last two years, Microsoft augmented Azure platform with capabilities such as high-density web hosting, mobile backend, API management and job scheduling. Though many cloud-native applications took advantage of these services, developers had to deal with each of them separately. With App Service, Azure PaaS becomes a one-stop shop for all application development on Microsoft cloud.

Bill Staples, corporate vice president at Microsoft said,

App Service is a new, one-of-a kind cloud service that enables developers to build web and mobile apps for any platform and any device. App Service is an integrated solution that streamlines development while enabling easy integration with on-premises and SaaS systems while providing the ability to quickly automate business processes.

The new App Service supports the following application categories:

  • Web Apps - Azure Websites service is rechristened as Web Apps. This service provides a polyglot environment to host websites developed in .NET, Java, PHP, Node.js and Python. Web Apps gallery offers developers a one-click capability to install packages like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. Web Apps can be configured for auto-scaling to dynamically scale-up or scale-out. Developers can configure continuous integration and deployment workflows with VSO, GitHub, TeamCity, Hudson or BitBucket. The service makes it easy to perform A/B testing to verify new code by selectively routing a fraction of live traffic.
  • Mobile Apps - Azure Mobile Services feature has become Mobile Apps within App Service. Mobile developers can take advantage of App Service to build native iOS, Android, and Windows apps or cross-platform Xamarin or Cordova (Phonegap) apps. The service supports hybrid capability to connect mobile applications with enterprise on-premises data. With the new SaaS API connectors, mobile developers can easily integrate their apps with popular 3rd party services such as Twitter, Salesforce and Twilio. Offline Sync and Push notifications are other key features of this service.
  • Logic Apps - Logic Apps allow developers to design workflows based on a series of steps that are triggered by an event. Developers can stitch multiple APIs and services as a part of the workflow without writing complex code. Existing templates provide a good starting point for developers to quickly design workflows. The connector marketplace acts as an exchange to publish and consume custom API Apps that can be used in Logic Apps. BizTalk Services are tightly integrated with Logic Apps to provide advanced integration scenarios.
  • API Apps - API Apps make it easy to develop, publish, manage, and monetize APIs. Developers can publish APIs written in ASP.NET, Java, PHP, Node.js or Python. Through simple access control, authentication can be built into APIs. Developers can share APIs with other teams within an organization, by using their own private organizational gallery of APIs or they can also be shared publicly for consumption by third party developers. Azure App Service can automatically build SDKs for a variety of languages including C#, Java, and Javascript, making APIs available to many platforms.

This consolidation turns Azure PaaS into a rich application platform. According to Microsoft, App Service delivers a fully managed and secure infrastructure for developers to build cloud-first and mobile-first applications.

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