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Introducing Windows Azure Mobile Services

To start using Mobile Services, you will need to sign up for a Windows Azure free trial

Today I’m excited to share that the Windows Azure Mobile Services public preview is now available. This preview provides a turnkey backend cloud solution designed to accelerate connected client app development. These services streamline the development process by enabling you to leverage the cloud for common mobile application scenarios such as structured storage, user authentication and push notifications.

If you’re building a Windows 8 app and want a fast and easy path to creating backend cloud services, this preview provides the capabilities you need. You to take advantage of the cloud to build and deploy modern apps for Windows 8 devices in anticipation of general availability on October 26th. Subsequent preview releases will extend support to iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

Features

The preview makes it fast and easy to create cloud services for Windows 8 applications within minutes. Here are the key benefits:

  • Rapid development: configure a straightforward and secure backend in less than five minutes.
  • Create modern mobile apps: common Windows Azure plus Windows 8 scenarios that Windows Azure Mobile Services preview will support include: 
    • Automated Service API generation providing CRUD functionality and dynamic schematization on top of Structured Storage
    • Structured Storage with powerful query support so a Windows 8 app can seamlessly connect to a Windows Azure SQL database
    • Integrated Authentication so developers can configure user authentication via Windows Live
    • Push Notifications to bring your Windows 8 apps to life with up to date and relevant information
  • Access structured data: connect to a Windows Azure SQL database for simple data management and dynamically created tables. Easy to set and manage permissions.

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Pricing

One of the key things that we’ve consistently heard from developers about using Windows Azure with mobile applications is the need for a low cost and simple offer. The simplest way to describe the pricing for Windows Azure Mobile Services at preview is that it is the same as Windows Azure Websites during preview.

What’s FREE?

  • Run up to 10 Mobile Services for free in a multitenant environment
  • Free with valid Windows Azure Free Trial
    • 1GB SQL Database
    • Unlimited ingress
    • 165MB/day egress

What do I pay for?

  • Scaling up to dedicated VMs
  • Once Windows Azure Free Trial expires - SQL Database and egress

 

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Getting Started

To start using Mobile Services, you will need to sign up for a Windows Azure free trial, if you have not done so already.  If you already have a Windows Azure account, you will need to request to enroll in this preview feature.

Once you’ve enrolled, this getting started tutorial will walk you through building your first Windows 8 application using the preview’s services.

The developer center contains more resources to teach you how to:

  • Validate and authorize access to data using easy scripts that execute securely, on the server
  • Easily authenticate your users via Windows Live
  • Send toast notifications and update live tiles in just a few lines of code

Our pricing calculator has also been updated for calculate costs for these new mobile services.

Questions? Ask in the Windows Azure Forums. Feedback? Send it to [email protected].

More Stories By Clint Edmonson

Clint Edmonson is an Architect Evangelist for Microsoft focused on Windows Azure and Cloud Computing. He has been developing software with Microsoft technologies for the last 20 years, working on everything from custom shrink-wrapped software at small startups to enterprise architecture and methodology adoption at fortune 500 companies. He spends his days helping companies understand Microsoft’s latest developer cloud offerings and developing strategic roadmaps for their adoption. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri and is the host of www.notsotrivial.net. You can follow Clint on twitter at @clinted.

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