Windows Azure SQL Database Marketplace
Today, we are pleased to announce some updates for mobile and enterprise developers using Windows Azure. These updates reduce development time and cost for building mobile applications, and help enterprise developers deliver high-availability and global business continuity.
General Availability of Windows Azure Notification Hubs
Windows Azure Notification Hubs help mobile app developers deliver millions of highly personalized push notifications to Android, iOS and Windows devices around the world within minutes. Built on the global Windows Azure infrastructure, Notification Hubs take advantage of cloud economics to deliver the benefits of a scaled out distributed system in an on-demand, pay-as-you-go service.
Traditionally, configuring an application backend to deliver personalized push notifications with low latency at significant scale has been cumbersome and expensive. Deploying a full featured push notification infrastructure involved writing code for each push notification service (Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc.), building your own personalization system and then spinning up hundreds of virtual machines in parallel to enable low latency. Including personalization based on interests or language preferences introduced additional layers of complexity.
Windows Azure Notification Hubs makes sending push notifications through multiple notification services achievable with just a few lines of code. Personalization is now easy with the use of tags to specify user preferences and the option to support multiple languages and formats through templates.
Today, apps like the Bing News for Windows 8 are using notification to send millions of push notifications to inform users of the latest breaking news.
Windows Azure Mobile Services also supports push notifications. The table below explains the differences. In short, Mobile Services is best used for communicating to a single user whereas Notification Hubs is best used for communicating to many users simultaneously.
MPNS, WNS, APNS, and GCM support
Turnkey event-triggered push
Device registration management
Interest tags for routing messages to a subset of users
Templates for formatting messages to user preferences including language
Broadcast to >1 million devices at once within minutes
You can of course build applications that use both services concurrently, such as a turn-based game that uses push through Mobile Services to send an alert to Player 2 after Player 1 completes a turn, and uses push through Notification Hubs to broadcast special promotions to all players at once.
Visit Scott Guthrie’s blog for a technical overview of Notification Hubs and how to get started.
Windows Azure Support for SQL Server AlwaysOn Listeners
Today, we are excited to add SQL Server Availability Group Listeners to our AlwaysOn technology. SQL Server AlwaysOn is one of the most important and popular capabilities available in SQL Server 2012. AlwaysOn supports SQL Server secondaries across global deployments and allows for multiple replicated instances in a single region for local high availability. For additional details on this announcement, please visit the SQL Server blog here.