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Chris Koenig is a Senior Technical Evangelist with Microsoft focused on our Windows Azure and Windows Client technologies. His job is to help developers, designers, entrepreneurs, startups companies and organizations large and small to find success and riches using Microsoft technology. Chris is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 5 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Windows Azure Updates to Support iOS in Mobile Services and More

10.17.2012
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Some amazing new updates to Windows Azure were announced yesterday. I love the rate at which new and improved features are being added to the Windows Azure platform, and I think you’ll find these updates particularly compelling. In a nutshell, here’s what was announced:

iOS Support for Windows Azure Mobile Services

The team released a native iOS SDK is for developers programming in Objective-C on the iPhone and iPad platforms. Included in the SDK are support for all the same features you get with the Windows 8 around data storage, dynamic schematization and authentication. Each Mobile Service can actually support *all* available clients, which now includes iOS, and it does NOT require a separate Mobile Services project for each different client. You can get sample code for each platform from the Mobile Service simply by toggling a switch:

While the release is still in development, and should not be considered a “final product”, the bits are pretty solid and the sample app worked for me without issue. I’m looking forward to them adding support for Notifications, which is missing from this current release, but should be coming out soon.

New Authentication Providers

Supported in both the Windows Store and new iOS bits, a set of new authentication providers have been added to the Mobile Services SDK. New providers include Google, Twitter and Facebook, to augment the already existing Microsoft Account capacity. Using the new provider model is really simple – first, you update the Mobile Services portal with the API keys that correspond to the types of authentication your application supports:

Then, you add code similar to the following, to process the login with the selected authentication provider:

private MobileServiceUser user;

private async System.Threading.Tasks.Task Authenticate()
{
    while (user == null)
    {
        string message;
        try
        {
            user = await App.MobileService
                LoginAsync(MobileServiceAuthenticationProvider.Facebook);
            message = 
                string.Format("You are now logged in - {0}", user.UserId);
        }
        catch (InvalidOperationException)
        {
            message = "You must log in. Login Required";
        }

        var dialog = new Windows.UI.Popups.MessageDialog(message);
        dialog.Commands.Add(new UICommand("OK"));
        await dialog.ShowAsync();
    }

}

Pretty simple!

Service Scripts Update

Some great new functionality is now available in the Mobile Service script layer. These scripts are triggered off of any CRUD operation on a Mobile Service’s table and can already handle doing data and query validation, filtering, web requests and more. The update now brings script access to blob storage, service bus, table storage, and more. In addition, SendGrid and Twilio are now modules that can be called from the scripts, giving developers the ability to send emails (SendGrid) or SMS text messages (Twilio) whenever a script is fired.

Updates to the Windows Azure Training Kit

Along with all the updates to the SDK, there are also some updates to the Windows Azure Training Kit. With this latest refresh, the kit now contains 38 presentations, 24 demos and 47 Hands-on Labs. Speaker notes have been added to may of the presentations, and man of the labs have been updated to reference Visual Studio 2012.

SO GO GET IT ALREADY!

If you don’t already have a Windows Azure account, you can grab a free 90-day trial and get to work trying out some of these cool new features! You’ll get access to all the Windows Azure services for 90-days with a “spending limit” cap put in place once the trial expires to make sure that your credit card is not charged for any services without your explicit permission. It’s a no-risk offer that you should jump on ASAP!

 

 

Published at DZone with permission of Chris Koenig, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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