Today, Scott Guthrie announced the new Microsoft Azure App Service. Azure App Service is a collection of 4 Application types– Web Apps, Mobile Apps, Logic Apps and API Apps.
The title of this blog post includes the phrase” Something old” and Azure App Service Web Apps are what was formerly called Azure Websites. I have been an ASP.NET MVP for a while and one of the benefits of being an MVP is that I get a certain amount of Azure credits, so I have used Azure Websites quite a bit to build and test DNN sites, as DNN is available in the Web Application Gallery as a template. In fact, this site (and two other sites that I run) are hosted on Azure Websites, using a separate paid subscription.
Having used other hosting services, as a website manager I find the tools for managing my website to be excellent. And as a developer Azure Websites provide me with some excellent tools, such as the ability to synchronize my content with a source control repository like Github or even just with my Dropbox account.
Similarly, Azure App Service Mobile Apps are what was formerly called Azure Mobile Services. I haven’t used Mobile Services very much, but I understand that in this case the offering has been significantly enhanced, as Mobile Apps have access to all the same services as Web Apps. For example you can now use a WebJob with a Mobile App.
Logic Apps are new and enable you to automate workflows and business processes using a web-based visual designer (see below)
With these apps you can automate the sending of an SMS with Twillio when someone uploads an image to your company DropBox account for example.
The last App type are API apps – these are also new. API Apps enable you to easily create, manage and call APIs, both APIs that you create yourself using ASP.NET Web API, but also the APIs provided by the services available in the Marketplace, for example the Facebook, Twitter and Dropbox connectors I showed in the previous section. API apps can be consumed by any of the other three App types. In addition you can make your API Apps available in the marketplace and even sell your services.
This new service which consolidates some old services and adds some new application development services looks like an awesome Application Platform – and I look forward to creating some simple new APIs and consuming them in Web, Mobile or Logic Apps.