Microsoft acquires Xamarin, plus Node.js backend GA, Cordova client beta, file upload, and more Mobile Apps goodness…


Lots of great stuff has been happening with Azure Mobile Apps and around Microsoft in the past month or so, particularly around new content and samples. Note that Mobile Apps samples are now beginning to show-up in the Azure Samples gallery.
Remember to keep an eye on both the Azure blog and App Service updates….

Microsoft acquiring Xamarin

Hot off the presses….As ScottGu writes in his blog today, an excellent marriage is finally going to happen with Microsoft agreeing to purchase Xamarin. This is great news for .NET app developers, and something that many have long expected, wished for.

Mobile Apps Node.js backend declared GA

A great milestone for the Node.js backend version of Mobile Apps as the JavaScript-based backend reaches the “general availability” milestone. You can get it now on npm.

All of the Mobile Apps tutorials now have both .NET backend and Node.js backend examples. There is also guidance for working with the Node.js backend SDK. If you are still using Mobile Services because you loved the Node.js backend, the time to upgrade to Mobile Apps is now.

New Cordova client support for Mobile Apps

For those of you who have been waiting patiently for Cordova support in Mobile Apps, great news. A beta Cordova client plugin is now available. Even better, this is the first official Azure Cordova client that has support for WNS, so you can send push notifications to your Cordova app running on a Windows app using WNS. At this point, we have the core tutorials (focused on Android for now) and a client SDK topic.

Upload files to Mobile Apps

You obviously can’t store blob data (image/audio/video files) in the same database as regular mobile data. Mobile Apps now makes storing blobs a much more integrated and turnkey process than in the past, including support for offline sync. Check out the new tutorial for file upload, as well as the sample project.

Quickstart completed samples

Folks have been asking for years for us to publish the finished versions of the TodoList sample project featured in all of the Mobile Apps and Mobile Services tutorials. We have now published what I call “quickstart completed” Mobile Apps samples for a .NET backend with Windows and Xamarin.Android clients. Of particular interest are the implementation decisions that were made when implementing offline, auth, and push at the same time. There are also some real-world extensions made in these project, like enabling the clients to add tags to their push registrations.

Parse server on Azure App Service

OK, this one’s not technically new, since I blogged about it last time—just wanted to include it for completeness sake. I should also mention that while the officially supported guidance for migrating Parse notifications to Azure Notification Hubs is still in the works, this post can help you get started now with Hubs (for those who can’t wait).

That’s all for now…

Cheers!

Glenn Gailey
Comments (1)

  1. MichaelDBang says:

    Hi Glenn,

    Thank you for posting this.  It's great you mention Xamarin and NodeJS in the same post, because this is actually in my view the greatest challenge remaining in the MSFT ecosystem, assuming that the Windows Platform team manages to create a new client UWP model (based on a stronger Xaml offering) that can reach iOS and Droid.

    The remaining problem is the web space, which is completely incompatible and unreachable by .NET.  Instead, the recommended guidance perpetuated by MSFT has been to create an entirely new and incompatible code base written in NodeJS that in turn talks with a .NET backend.

    What .NET developers and organizations are learning is that they can also write NodeJS backends as well.  Additionally, they can use a NodeJS application on a native/store-hosted client using Cordova, a technology that Microsoft is also endorsing as you list above.  Because of the fact that NodeJS can be used in server (back end) scenarios, in addition to native/store-hosted scenarios AND of course web/browser-hosted scenarios, .NET developers (and organizations, along with ISVs)are gravitating towards this because they can write cheaper, more efficient solutions with ONE code base and ONE language, maximizing their investments and time.

    There is a vote out there that is asking for MSFT to change this.  It would be great to get your support around this and ensure that MSFT creates a competitive .NET model to compete with NodeJS in all aspects:

    visualstudio.uservoice.com/…/10027638-create-a-ubiquitous-net-client-application-develo

    Thank you for any support and consideration!

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