We're introducing Hybrid Connections, a cool and easy new way to build hybrid applications on Azure. Hybrid Connections are a feature of Azure BizTalk Services, enabling your Azure Website or Mobile Service to connect to on-premises data & services with just a few simple gestures right from the Azure portal. We're also introducing a free tier of Azure BizTalk Services, exclusively to make it easy for you to try this new hybrid connectivity.

Hybrid Connections will support all frameworks supported by Websites (.NET, PHP, Java, Python, node.js) and Mobile Services (node.js, .NET). Various Microsoft & non-Microsoft LOB applications are supported, including many application-specific protocols, with a few caveats. Hybrid Connections does not require changes to the network perimeter (such as configuring VPN gateways or opening firewall ports to incoming traffic).  It offers enterprise admins control over and visibility into resources accessed by the hybrid applications.

With Hybrid Connections, Azure websites and mobile services can access on-premises resources as if they were located on the same private network. Application admins thus have the flexibility to simply lift-and-shift specific most front-end tiers to Azure with minimal configuration changes, extending their enterprise apps for hybrid scenarios. 

To connect your website to an on-premises resource using a hybrid connection:

  • From the Azure Preview Portal for your website, select the Hybrid Connections tile in the Operations lens, and click on 'Add' 

 

  • Select an existing hybrid connection or to create a 'New hybrid connection'
    • Enter a hybrid connection name, as well as the hostname and port for the on-premises resource
    • Use an existing or create a new BizTalk Service instanc
  • Click 'OK'

    • Once the connection has been created, its status will show as "Not Connected". To complete the connection with a single click, from any on-premises Windows host:
  • Select the hybrid connection
  • Click on 'Listener Setup'
  • In the Hybrid Connection properties blade, choose 'Install and configure' - this will ask you for permission to setup the hybrid connection
  • Granting this permission will complete the hybrid connection setup

The status for the hybrid connection in the portal should now show as "Connected". That's it – your website is now connected to your on-premises server.

 

For Mobile Services, the configuration is just as simple using the Azure Management Portal:

  • Create a new BizTalk Service in you don’t already have one. Navigate to the ‘Hybrid Connections’ tab in your BizTalk Service and add a new Hybrid Connection.

 

  • Create a Hybrid Connection from the BizTalk Services or the WebSites portal as described above
  • Navigate to the Configuration tab for you mobile service and scroll to the Hybrid Connections section
  • Click on 'Add Hybrid Connection' and select a hybrid connection to use with your Mobile Service

 

Using Hybrid Connections, you can now use the same application connection string and API's in your Azure Website or Mobile Service that you would normally use if these were hosted locally on your private network. For instance, if you are connecting to an on-premises SQL server ‘payrollSQL.corp.contoso.com’, you can use the SQL connection string “Data Source=payrollSQL.corp.contoso.com;Initial Catalog=payrollDB;User ID=<user>;Password=<password>” on your Azure Website or your Mobile Service.

 

To learn more about Hybrid Connections, visit: