Microsoft packages Azure for Web and mobile developers

The new Azure App Service was designed to streamline the process of building apps and connecting them to back-end data sources

Microsoft Azure now provides easy route to building cloud-based Web and mobile applications

Microsoft Azure now provides easy route to building cloud-based Web and mobile applications

With a new integrated set of Azure-based services, Microsoft wants to help ease the process of developing applications that run in the cloud.

"We're hearing that developers want more simplicity. They're challenged with having to build apps that target a variety of platforms and devices," said Omar Khan, Microsoft partner director of program management. The new offering "brings together several services into a single experience."

The new Azure App Service could help organizations build Web applications or mobile applications that connect to a variety of data sources that reside in the cloud or in internal IT systems. The service features four different components that can be used by themselves or in tandem: Web Apps, Mobile Apps, Logic Apps and API Apps.

"All in all this is a strong step forward for Azure in terms of supporting developers," Al Hilwa, an IDC software development analyst, wrote in an e-mail. Azure's mobile services have been significantly advanced with this offering, and the API services "are an important and trendy new capability that developers and enterprises are clamoring for these days."

As its name indicates, Web Apps is a package designed for building Web applications. Formerly called Azure Websites, Web Apps supports .NET, Java, PHP, Python and other popular technologies for building Web sites. For those organizations using the devops style of programming, Web Apps can work with code management tools such as GitHub, BitBucket and Visual Studio Online.

The second package, Mobile Apps, can be used for building native mobile applications for Windows, Apple or Android devices. It works with cross-platform development technologies such as Xamarin and Cordova. Azure can handle common tasks for running mobile apps such as push notification, storage, synchronization and authentication.

The Logic Apps package can help developers automate business processes across different cloud and in-house applications. This service is based on Microsoft's BizTalk service for enterprise application integration. "It is a flow-based automation tool," Khan said.

The API Apps component is designed to provide an easy way to create cloud-based APIs (application programming interfaces) for third party applications. It also eases the work of incorporating third-party applications into Web and mobile applications, according to Microsoft. The service has built-in support for connecting with enterprise software applications such as SAP, Siebel, and Oracle's business software. Connectors are also available for a range of Internet services provided by, Zendesk, Dynamics CRM Online and others.

Web Apps is currently available, and the other services will be made available later this year, Khan said. The cost will be based on per-minute usage.

Also this week, Microsoft released a software development kit (SDK) for those programmers concentrating on Windows' next version, Windows 10,

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftManaged ServicesSoftware as a servicecloud computinginternetInfrastructure services

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?