Microsoft Announces Azure App Service

Microsoft today made Azure App Service, a new service for creating cross-platform apps, available to developers. The toolset covers a wide range of apps, including mobile apps, web apps, logic apps, and API apps.  

Microsoft claims with Azure App Service, developers can target employee, partner, or customer-facing apps for just about any platform or device, including PCs, tablets, smartphones, and more. It works hand-in-hand with Microsoft Azure Websites, Mobile Services, and Biztalk Services by forming a single product that offers common app hosting, runtimes, and extensibility. This could simplify the process for developers when it comes to integrating with consumer and commercial services, whether on-site or remotely. 

Developers targeting mobile apps can use Azure to write for Android, iOS, and Windows, as well as Xamarin and Cordova. (What, no BlackBerry or Linux?) The Mobile Apps portion of Azure lets developers engage users with push notifications, authentication, and store cloud data for on/offline syncing. 

Microsoft renamed Azure Websites to Azure Web Apps, which supports a wide range of frameworks, including .NET, Java, PHP, Python, and others. It bakes in full developer operation support with Microsoft’s Visual Studio Online, in addition to GitHub, Bitbucket, and others. Microsoft sees Web Apps as being especially beneficial to businesses, which can connect to existing apps and services while maintaining data integrity.

The new Logic Apps offering lets technical users/developers automate process execution in both consumer and enterprise apps. Further, it supports custom APIs for solving integration problems. It also packages in Azure’s former BizTalk capabilities to deal with the more advanced requirements of enterprise projects. 

Last, Azure App Services powers API-based apps, which Microsoft says gives developers the ability to find, host, and manage APIs using known tools such as SAP, Siebel, Oracle, Salesforce, Zendesk, Office 365, and others. Developers will be able to access existing APIs as well as create/use their own. 

Microsoft has an introduction to Azure App Service available at: https://tryappservice.azure.com

Eric Zeman I am a journalist who covers the mobile telecommunications industry. I freelance for ProgrammableWeb and other online properties.
 

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