Wrapping Up TechDays Netherlands 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What a crazy week it was! On Monday evening I was totally stuffed from the traditional Passover dinner at my parents' house, and on Tuesday morning I was already flying to Amsterdam for TechDays Netherlands 2014 to deliver three talks on Azure Mobile Services and Notification Hubs. Thanks everyone for coming to my talks and I'm sorry for the botched demo at the end of the third one -- there's only so many times you can tempt the demo gods before something goes wrong, and in this case it was the Internet connection (both wired and wireless) towards the end...
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Canada Tour 2014: Toronto User Groups and ConFoo

Friday, February 28, 2014

I spent a great week in Canada despite the super-cold weather for my taste. After all, in Israel, sub-freezing temperatures are enough of a reason to cancel school and bring public transportation to a halt. So for me, stepping outside in -15 degree weather was pretty much of a shock. The week started with three days in Toronto, visiting the Sela Canada branch and delivering two talks at user groups - an introduction to Android development with Eclipse and Xamarin, and an introduction to Node.js on Windows Azure. Then, I flew in to ConFoo, a conference for web developers in Montreal....
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Windows Azure Mobile Services Webinar [Hebrew]

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Yesterday I had the pleasure of giving a one-hour webinar on Windows Azure Mobile Services. If you follow my blog, you already know that this is one of the technologies I am most excited about. In the webinar, we covered the basic capabilities such as data access, push, and authentication, and had time to discuss some additional (newer) features like Custom API and Notification Hubs. We have mostly seen demos from Windows 8 and Windows Phone, but the backend we built is also perfectly capable of dealing with iOS and Android clients. The demo app I used is my good...
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Integrating Windows Azure Mobile Services and Service Bus Notification Hubs

Monday, October 7, 2013

This is one of the longest blog titles ever, and I’m still not using the full official feature names. AccessCheckByTypeResultListAndAuditAlarmByHandle, anyone? Scott Guthrie just announced recently that Windows Azure Service Bus Notification Hubs have reached the GA phase, which is a good opportunity to try them out. Notification Hubs are designed to blast out a large number of push notifications to a variety of connected devices, absolving you of the need to worry about client subscriptions, managing lists of clients per topic, handling different push APIs for different platforms, and managing dropped or expired push channels. From my...
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Windows Azure Mobile Services "Rent a Home" Sample, Part 4: Push Notifications

Sunday, June 2, 2013

In the previous posts we explored data and authentication on the backend and client-side. This post explains how the Rent a Home application uses push notifications on all four platforms to let users know immediately when a new apartment listing is added. First, it's important to understand the general model used by all mobile platforms for push notifications. The mobile application calls a set of local APIs to obtain a push token, referred to as channel URI, registration id, or device token on the various platforms. The mobile application then has to send that push token to the backend, which...
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Windows Azure Mobile Services "Rent a Home" Sample, Part 3: Authentication

Monday, April 8, 2013

Last time around, we explored the user interface and the server script for our apartment listings application. Today we'll see how to add authentication to the mix, and limit certain operations only to authenticated users. This is particularly important in the Rent a Home application, because you don't want anonymous users deleting and updating apartment listings! In fact, you'd probably want only the user that created an apartment listing to have the right to update or delete it. NOTE: Windows Azure Mobile Services is configured by default to enable any user with the application URL and application key to perform...

Windows Azure Mobile Services "Rent a Home" Sample, Part 2: UI and Data

Sunday, March 31, 2013

In the previous installment, we saw the general UI of the application. We'll now turn to see how that UI was implemented on all four platforms. If you're looking for a quick start or documentation on Mobile Services, you should take a look at the Windows Azure Mobile Developer Center. Android The model class for apartment listings on Android is the following: public class Apartment implements Serializable { private int id; private String address; private boolean published; private int bedrooms; private double latitude; private double longitude; private String username; //Getters and setters omitted...

Windows Azure Mobile Services "Rent a Home" Sample, Part 1: Introduction

Friday, March 29, 2013

For my Visual Studio Live! talk on Windows Azure Mobile Services, I decided to go beyond the "todolist" quick start samples and implement an application that illustrates more framework-specific and platform-specific features. The application is called "Rent a Home", and helps users share apartments for rent and view apartments for rent on a map around their location. Although this is not a production quality application -- for one thing, there is no way to contact the apartment owner! -- it's a more realistic illustration of why you would want a shared backend for your mobile application on all four...

Windows Azure Mobile Services Unofficial Android SDK: Authentication Support

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I totally forgot to blog about it, but my unofficial SDK has had authentication support for a few days now. This has been pretty easy to implement, actually, thanks to OAuth and the Mobile Services backend. If you haven’t gotten started with WAMS authentication yet, you really should try it out. It’s easy as pie, really, and you can set yourself up with 3-4 authentication providers in a matter of several minutes. I’ll leave the rest to this great tutorial on authentication with WAMS. So, if you’ve got the latest version from GitHub, you can now do...
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Windows Azure Mobile Services — Scheduler Scripts

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Scheduler scripts are a very recent addition to Windows Azure Mobile Services. This is a very nice feature that supports periodic background processing in your mobile service. As a reminder, in the original release of Windows Azure Mobile Services, the only opportunity to run any server-side work (in scripts) is when the client performs an operation on a table (select, insert, update, or delete). For any kind of periodic processing, you'd have to use an external solution or have a client ping one of your tables -- a very ugly solution, as opposed to a scheduled script. When would you...
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