Cloud

Microsoft demos simple cloud-enabling of mobile apps with Azure Mobile Services

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Looking to cloud-enable your mobile app? Looks like Microsoft can help make that a lot easier.

Microsoft just demoed some very slick new mobile and cloud connections today at its BUILD conference in Redmond, showing how simple it is for developers to store their data in the cloud and perform operations on that data.

Josh Twist from Windows Azure Mobile Services — which he announced now support Windows Phone 8 — connected an app to Azure authentication services live onstage. Authentication protocols not only include Microsoft accounts, but also Facebook, Twitter, and Google accounts, and Twist showed how, in just a few lines of code, developers can add social login to their apps.

This works on any app on iOS as well as more traditional desktop apps for Windows Store, and now, of course, Windows Phone 8.

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Even more interestingly, Twist demoed how simple it is to set event handlers in Azure that execute code securely and automatically in the cloud whenever data changes. One example he showed was to automatically grab a user’s Twitter avatar when the user logs in via Twitter. In a few lines of Javascript, saved on Azure and triggered automatically when a user logged in, Mobile Services talked to Twitter, retrieved the user icon, saved it locally, and sent it to the mobile app for use in the user interface.

Impressive!

Then Twist connected the cloud app to a live tile on his Windows 8 PC, enabling quick and easy desktop monitoring of his mobile app’s activity. Also impressive.

A preview is available today, Twist said, and developers who sign up will receive 10 mobile services for free.

Above: And the Windows Phone app data arrives on the Windows 8 desktop, via Azure Mobile Services

Image credits: vernieman via photopin cc, Microsoft

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