Azure App Service

Azure App is a Microsoft product which is focused to work on the strategy based on “Mobile first, Cloud first”. Azure products provide all the resources which can develop great apps. Azure websites, Azure mobile services are some of the Azure products which enable the developers to create these apps but the experienced developers find there are certain limitations in the service. In order to create a website or a few pages in Azure Mobile Services, an Azure website is required. Thus it requires to have these two different services Azure Websites and Azure Mobile Service to and maintain which costs additional for clients. To provide a better solution for clients, Microsoft has improved its product with this additional Azure App Service by taking it to the next level by integrating it with a backend for web and mobile services.

What is Azure App Service?

Azure App Service is a fully managed “Platform as a Service” (Paas) that integrates with the Azure Websites, Mobile Services and BizTalk Services into a single service. The Azure App Service provides users with many capabilities that integrate with on-premises or cloud systems. The capabilities include the following operations.

  • Providing and deploying web and mobile apps in seconds.
  • Building communicating apps such as iOS, Android and Windows apps.
  • A visual design experience for automating the business process.
  • Integrating with the “Software as a Service” (SaaS) applications and on-premises applications.

These improvements with Azure App Service provide the users to develop Web Apps, Mobile Apps, API Apps, Logic Apps in a single instance. Instead of paying individually for each service Azure App Service reduces the cost for clients by providing all services at one place at a low price. This new service provides new features with mobile, workflow support and new connectors to many Saas and on-premises solutions. The built-in development operations, integration with Visual Studio Online and GitHub, staging and production support, and automatic patching are the powerful capabilities provided by Azure App Service.

App Services Architecture:

In order to deploy an application we need a web server, we deploy a virtual machine, log in to it and set up the configuration on the windows server. For deploying such an application it requires to manage the virtual machine, make it available to the users and then need to update and patch the operating system regularly. Azure Fabric reduces this effort to managing time spent on the application infrastructure. 

The Azure Service Fabric is a distributed platform for Azure virtual machines where users can access these services in a simple way of using the webserver without deploying it. The Service Fabric uses a virtual machine which makes web services functionality available to the users such that they could able to manage the webserver through the portal interface instead of deploying a web server.

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The Service Fabric platform can easily build and deploy the microservices-based applications that can handle both stateful and stateless operations. The apps which are developed in the Fabric environment are made up of granular microservices with small chunks of code that are uploaded and run separately. The Application Programming Interface (API) makes these microservices communicate with each other. It provides the life cycle management capabilities to microservices-based applications which are hosted inside the containers and are deployed across the Service Fabric cluster. 

Azure App Services

The Azure App services include these four application development and hosting environments. 

  • Web App
  • Mobile App
  • Logic Apps
  • API Apps

Azure combines the services of web apps and mobile apps as a single platform for building multi-device multi-platform apps. The Logic App uses a serverless architecture which integrates the services into an app without writing the code. The API Apps are used for building the logic workflows by using the built-in connectors. 

You can customize the Azure App Service in the Azure portal. In the portal click on “New” and then select “Web + Mobile” for choosing the features.

1.Web App

The Web App is a fully managed platform service which enables the users to build and deploy the web apps in seconds. The main features include the following.

  • Python, .NET, Java, Node.js, PHP.
  • High availability with auto-patching.
  • Load balancing and built-in autoscale.
  • WebJobs, Deployment slots, testing in production and integration.
  • Deployment with Git, GitHub, TFS.
  • Web Apps Gallary: Umbraco, Drupal, WordPress, Joomla.

Creating a New Web App

In the Azure portal window, click on “New” in the panel options and then click on “Web + Mobile” and then again click on “Web App” as shown in the below figure.

Getting Web App from the Azure marketplace store

You can choose different products that can be used in Web Apps. The Azure marketplace provides the list of apps in the Azure portal. Choose the marketplace at the bottom of the screen and select web apps as shown in the below figure.

2.Mobile App

For native Windows, iOS and Android platforms the mobile apps provide the rich set of backend capabilities. These capabilities are also applicable for multi-platform environments such as Xamarin and Cordova. The following are the features and improvements in the Mobile App.

  • Autoscale with built-in support.
  • Ability to sync while working offline with the apps.
  • Customer segmentation for the broadcasting push.
  • Traffic manager support.
  • Test in production support and staged deployment.
  • Visual Studio Online, GitHub, and Bitbucket are supported by continues integration/deployment.
  • The support of integration with social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google.
  • The support of WebJobs for long-running background tasks.
  • The support of virtual networking and hybrid connections to on-premises databases.

The Mobile App features are highly scalable and provide a mobile application development platform for system integrators and enterprise developers. 

Creating a New Mobile App

In the Azure portal window, click on “New” in the panel options and then click on “Web + Mobile” and then again click on “Mobile App” as shown in the below figure.

Getting Mobile App from the Azure marketplace store

You can choose different products that can be used in Mobile Apps. Choose the Marketplace and then select the Mobile Apps provided in the list of Azure portal as shown in the below figure.

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3.Logic Apps

The Logic Apps provide the ability to automate the process execution across customer, commercial services and APIs on-premises. The Logic Apps includes advanced Big Talk service capabilities and even advanced enterprise integration services. The following are the features provided in Logic Apps.

  • Business processes and workflows can be created visually.
  • Web, Mobile and API Apps can deliver with integration capabilities.
  • SaaS and enterprise applications are integrated.
  • Business processes and EAI/B2B are automated.
  • On-premises data can be connected.

There are two main categories of connectors used in Logic Apps which are Standard Connectors and Premium Connectors 

Creating a New Logic App

In the Azure portal window, click on “New” in the panel options and then click on “Web + Mobile” and then again click on “Logic App” as shown in the below figure.

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4.API Apps

The API Apps offers a rich platform and ecosystem for building, consuming and distributing APIS in the cloud and on-premises. The following are the features in API Apps.

  • SaaS and enterprise applications are integrated.
  • Client proxies or APIs can be generated in your language of choice.
  • Versioning and deployment of API Apps can be automated.
  • APIs are secured with Single Sign-On, Active Directory, and OAuth.
  • APIs are shared internally with the organizational gallery.

The API apps will enhance your experience in developing, publishing, deploying, managing, consuming and monitoring the RESTful Web APIs. The API takes advantage of the API Apps platform to connect with Azure Active directory. The apps allow easy connection to SaaS platforms and consumed by Logic Apps. 

Creating a New API App

In the Azure portal window, click on “New” in the panel options and then click on “Web + Mobile” and then again click on “API App” as shown in the below figure.

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 Getting the API App from the Azure marketplace store

You can choose different products that can be used in API Apps. Choose the Marketplace and then select the API Apps provided in the list of Azure portal as shown in the below figure.

Conclusion
With the development of Azure APP Service the development, integration, deployment and management process has become very quick and fast in executing the virtual machine services. This reduced the burden to the clients in terms of time, cost and availability. At low price, the users are now able to access all the services at one place instead of working individually as a separate entity.

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Mudassir
Mudassir
DevOps ERP and IAM tools
Mudaasir is a programming developer for hkr trainings. He has a well knowledge of today’s technology and I’ve loved technology my entire life. And also been lucky enough to work for the programmer including science and technology. Big thanks to everyone who has followed me on LinkedIn and twitter.

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