Azure App Services 101

Lee Grant – Principal Architect, Cloud 9 Infosystems

At this year’s Build Conference Microsoft introduced the latest technology for developing PaaS (Platform as a Service) solution in Microsoft Azure. This technology is called App Services. App Services integrate everything you need to build apps for multiple platforms (including mobile devices). An App Service is a single instance that integrates Azure Websites, Azure Mobile Services and Azure BizTalk Services. This blog posting will give an overview of each subservice type contained in App Services.

App Services are made up of 4 App Types:

  • Web Apps (Formerly Azure Websites (formerly Azure Web Roles))
  • API Apps –Cloud Rest API’s
  • Mobile Apps – Formerly Azure Mobile Services
  • Logic Apps – Automate apps and data without writing code.

Web Apps

Web Apps allow developers to easily create and deploy Web applications to Microsoft Azure. These apps can be created using ASP.NET MVC, PHP or JavaScript technologies. The applications can easily be deployed via Visual Studio, PowerShell or with GitHub. The app can be “web page” applications or Web Services. These applications can be configured for multiple deployment slots (production, staging, dev, test) and configured for autoscaling.

API Apps

API apps are a good way to deploy a cloud based API to be consumed by both Azure and on-premises applications. In fact if you write what you think would be a good general purpose API, you can make it available on the Azure Marketplace for others to use. Also access control has been made much easier and allows for security in your API (as well as all other App Services)

Mobile Apps

Mobile Apps bring scalable globally available mobile application platform to developers. We can now build native and cross platform solutions for our enterprise. These solutions can be connected or run disconnected for later synchronization with the Mobile services in Azure. This is a rebranding and improvement to what had been known as Azure Mobile Services.

Logic Apps

Logic apps allow you to create logical workflows in the Cloud. You can consume your own custom API’s or API’s that are available in the Azure Marketplace (Connectors). These connectors are available for many well-known cloud services (e.g. Twilio for sending SMS messages to one or millions of users). These apps can be built within the new Azure Portal without writing any code.

App Service Plans

App Service plans are the pricing tiers you share across your App Services. One or more App Service Plans are grouped within a resource group. Resource groups are a recent addition to Azure and should be used to logically group your solutions in the Cloud. Where, in the past you would pick an instance size for each cloud service (Web Role, Worker Role, etc). Now the instance size is chosen at the App Service Plan level. Azure handles the SLA for these and you are free to adjust the instance level at will with zero downtime.

This blog post as been in quick overview of Azure App Services. Later posts offer a deep dive into each App type in Azure App services. For Microsoft’s official documentation on Azure App Services please go to the following link: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/app-service-value-prop-what-is/

Please check back here for new postings.

About the Author 

Lee Grant is a Principal Architect at Cloud 9 Infosystems. He is based in Western New York. Lee has been doing development and software engineering/architecture in the Microsoft ecosystem for over 25 years. He is a former member of the Azure and Windows High Performance Computing team at Microsoft. Lee currently focuses on Microsoft Azure development, particularly Web Services in the cloud.

When not at the keyboard Lee enjoys reading, hiking and riding his motorcycle.

 

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About Cloud 9 Infosystems

Cloud 9 Infosystems is an Azure Circle Partner specializing in building, migrating and managing applications in Cloud. We were awarded the Most Valuable Partner Award by Microsoft for our Cloud services. We are also part of Azure insider club and P-seller program at Microsoft.
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