After a while of putting Node JS on Windows Azure, and the people start working with it plus the great advantages Node JS is offering to the clients and its great performance and some advantages over the web API. Windows Azure is now offering Windows Azure mobile services that will help the developers build applications for different platforms with a very easy way to store, push notification and even provide identity with the integration with several identity providers like Hotmail, Google, Amazon and others.
So how to create a Windows Azure mobile service?
There are few several steps to be done to create your Windows Azure Mobile service through the Windows Azure portal.
After signing in to the Windows Azure portal, just click on the button “New”, select “Compute” then “Mobile Service” and finally on “Create”.
A new window will be prompted and you will be asked to enter a valid URL for the Mobile Services, choose whether you want to create a new SQL database or connect to an existing one and the location you want to host your mobile services in.
After you click on next, you will be asked for the username and the password for the database. You will have to enter the required credentials and after that you will see the Mobile services is being created.
Now let’s dig a bit more in the Mobile service. When the Windows Azure finishes creating the mobile services, click on it and the following page will open.
This page offers you all what you can do with the Windows Azure mobile services. The first one, the button that has a look of a cloud and a thunder in it will bring to this page, where you can choose the platform you want your mobile service to connect to it. you can see a lot of different platform you can connect to them using the Mobile services. In the Get Started you will have 2 options whether you can download a full application for the required platform so you can build application for it or it can helps you to connect to an application that you have already started developing it.
The next button which is the Dashboard, it gives you a small monitoring on the mobile services with statistics, certainly with all the required information about the Mobile services, the location, its URL and so on.
The Data button is the one responsible for the data you entered in the Windows Azure mobile services. You can create several tables as much as you need, all these tables are automatically created in the database related. One of the best things in the Mobile Services is that the table created has dynamic columns which means that you can add new fields in the table as much as you need whenever you want. You will not have to create these columns on the table creation but depending on your application demands.
Lately Windows Azure Mobile services has started to support different Node JS NPM so you rather than just building mobile application with some limited functionalities now it gives you the opportunity to develop and do more using the NPM that you can add to the Mobile service. To develop on Windows Azure Mobile Service and use the NPM in your development you should create a new API found under the third button.
You also can schedule some work to be done from time to time using the Windows Azure Scheduler found in the fourth button, however this feature is still in preview, as the scaling one too.
The next one which is the Push, is the one related to the push notification. This is compatible with different platforms whether Microsoft Technologies (Windows 8 or Windows Phone) and non Microsoft Android and Apple. You can find a small introduction on Windows Azure push notification in a previous blog post and this one in the Mobile Portal is the new evolution of it. There is also the Windows Azure Service Bus Notification hub.
The next feature is the Identity, this one will allow you to integrate your application with different identity provider whether they are Microsoft or others. This feature will also require that you get some information about your application from your application that you developed on this platform most probably you will find them in the administration on the marketplace.
The last one I am going to explain now is the “configure” this one where has the main details about your database and server. The main thing that I want to show now is the CORS or the cross origin resource sharing, this is where you will be asked to enter the URL that will be allowed to deal with your application. PS if you develop cloud application and you want to test them on the local machine and this application is integrating with the mobile service you will have to enter the URL of your machine.
You can find the tutorials that can help you to get started here.
A very great integration I think you can offer you application while developing Windows Azure Mobile services using the NPM is also using the SignalR for better interaction between the client and the server and create better real time application
Here you can find all the details for the updates done on the mobile services and how you can start adding the NPM to your solution.
In the following link you can find the Windows Azure SDK for the Windows Azure development using Node JS.