Furthering the goal of bridging Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. developed the Android SDK for Windows Azure Mobile Services that is being announced today by Scott Guthrie on his blog.
Windows Azure Mobile Services was created to make it easier for developers to build engaging and dynamic mobile apps that scale. By using Mobile Services, developers are not only able to connect their applications to a scalable and secure backend hosted in Windows Azure, but also store data in the cloud, authenticate users and send push notifications.
The Android SDK lets you connect your favorite Android phone or tablet (Android 2.2+) to a cloud backend and deliver push notifications via Google Cloud Messaging. It also allows you to authenticate your users via their Google, Facebook, Twitter, or Microsoft credentials. To enable this, the MS Open Tech engineering team delivered the following key features:
- Data API: this API simplifies the communication between Android apps and the tables exposed through Windows Azure Mobile Services using a fluent API for queries and automatic JSON serialization/deserialization.
- Identity API: this API allows leveraging Microsoft Account, Facebook, Twitter or Google authentication in an Android app.
- Service Filters: these components allow the developer to intercept and customize the requests between the Mobile client and Windows Azure Mobile Services, providing a filter pipeline to handle the generated requests and responses.
The SDK is available on GitHub under the Apache 2.0 license and community contributions are very welcome.