Microsoft today is revealing Azure App Service, a new cloud service that bundles together several existing ones: Azure Websites, Azure Mobile Services, and Azure BizTalk Services. The idea is to give developers one place to go in the cloud when they want to build and run cross-device applications and then populate them with data from multiple existing applications.
Azure App Service joins an extensive lineup of cloud services available from Microsoft Azure, a public cloud that competes against Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform, among others. The unification of services could simplify application and deployment for developers — there might well be one fewer service to pay for every month.
At the very least, it does make sense to have a single service for running various types of applications.
“Developers are trying to build web and mobile apps from the same app back-end,” Omar Khan, partner director of program management at Microsoft, told VentureBeat in an interview.
Microsoft is making changes to some of the services the new App Service draws on.
Microsoft will continue to operate Azure Mobile Services for an interim period so customers can move their applications over to Azure App Service, Khan said. And websites running in Azure Websites will be shifted over to App Service, too, without any work on the part of customers, Khan said.
Azure BizTalk Services — the cloud-based implementation of the popular BizTalk Server software for enterprise application integration that competes with the likes of venture-backed company MuleSoft, for one — will remain available as a standalone service in the future, Khan said. In addition, Azure App Service will allow customers to manage application programming interface (API) applications to connect their applications with external services like Oracle’s Siebel software or Microsoft’s own Office 365 software suite.
As for pricing, there’s a nice change in store for customers.
“We’re basically offering App Service at the same pricing Azure Websites has today, but including capabilities of the other services at that price,” Khan said.