Windows Azure Mobile Service updates and added support for Android push notifications via Google Cloud Messaging

Listening to the developers’ feedback, the Windows Azure Mobile Services team is releasing new features and updates to make Mobile Services a more robust and flexible backend for mobile apps that scale. Contributing its expertise in bridging Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies, MS Open Tech built the new Android Notification Hubs SDK and updated the Android SDK for Windows Azure Mobile Services.

Updates to Windows Azure Mobile Services

Mobile Services makes it fast and easy to build dynamic and engaging mobile apps that scale. Windows Azure is expanding the Mobile Services capabilities:

  • Adding support for Custom API allowing developers to write server-side scripts that aren’t associated with a SQL database table and giving them additional control over the HTTP request and response so that they can receive types other than JSON and then detect and append their own HTTP headers.
  • Adding source control via git.

You can find more details on these updates reading the Windows Azure and ScottGu’s blogs.

MS Open Tech contributed the Android push notifications support in Notification Hubs

Notification Hubs lets you broadcast push notifications to millions of devices across platforms from almost any backend hosted in Windows Azure. Notification Hubs are a great way to modernize existing apps hosted in Virtual Machines, Cloud Services or Web Sites by engaging users through push notifications; it’s also a great way to enrich the push notifications support available through Mobile Services by subscribing different subsets of users to different topics.

Notification Hub enables broadcast push notifications scenario not only for consumer apps but also for enterprise apps that need to update thousands or millions of mobile users simultaneously.

Building on our learning and experience in previous releases, MS Open Tech contributed the support for Android push notifications via Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) to the suite of supported platforms. With this release, developers can now broadcast push notifications to Windows Store, iOS and Android devices via WNS, APNS, and GCM, respectively.

To get started broadcasting push notifications to Android devices, you’ll need the Service Bus .NET Preview SDK, the Android SDK, and the new Android Notification Hubs SDK. Learn more on the Windows Azure blog.

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As for previous releases, the Android Notification Hubs SDK is open sourced and you can find the code on GitHub.

Free 20MB SQL Database

Last but not least, and still responding to developers’ feedback, Windows Azure now offers a 20MB SQL Database to every Windows Azure subscription that can be used with Windows Azure Mobile Services or Web Sites. This will definitively help developers building mobile and web apps and need to store relational data in the cloud. And this will also be handy to have a free data option during development and test.

Next steps

You can start building Mobile Services powered that leverage Custom API and local git for source control today. You can also add Android broadcast push support to any app built on Windows Azure with Notification Hubs.

Visit the Mobile Developer Center and MSDN for more information regarding Mobile Services and Notification Hubs, respectively. Visit Scott Guthrie’s blog post for additional information regarding this release.

And as usual, feel free to let us know what you think about our work commenting on this post or sending us an email.


8 thoughts on “Windows Azure Mobile Service updates and added support for Android push notifications via Google Cloud Messaging

  1. what will developer do in 20mb SQL Database Service. I suggest Microsoft to allowed some good amount of space free or in low cost. Some Platform Supporters of Windows Azure.

  2. Hello, great inittiative.
    Is it possible to bring push notifications to WP, iOS, Android using the Azure services in combination with PhoneGap?
    Do you have any example handy?
    Thanks!

  3. Hi Gustavo
    the answer is yes. I can see 2 ways of doing this. the first one is to build a PhoneGap plugin that will use the native APIs to invoke the Windows Azure Mobile Services. The second option would be to directly call the HTML5/JavaScript API in the app itself. I have not tried it myself, but that would definitively make for a great demo

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