In that same vein, scripting and command lines are back in vogue with Azure. PowerShell is an indispensable tool for managing a large estate of Azure-based systems. “Azure CLI is something our developers strongly encourage other teams to take advantage of for automation tasks,” Culling pointed out.
For third parties there are many that bear mentioning, but in the interest of space we will discuss two: Telerik and Xamarin. Since 2011, Telerik has been paying attention to Azure as a development target with its ASP.NET controls and other offerings. A quick search shows documentation on the Telerik website for topics like “Deploying Telerik UI for ASP.NET AJAX to Azure,” and pages with names like “cloud-upload-azure-blob-storage.” The latter talks about the RadCloudUpload component and represents a control specifically designed to provide upload capabilities to cloud storage with support for Amazon’s S3, Azure’s Blob Storage, and Telerik’s own services, which used to go by the name Everlive.
Microsoft has been preaching since the release of Windows 8 that mobile experiences need a cloud-scale back end to host data and services. The problem is that most organizations want to have native experiences on all three of the main mobile platforms (iOS, Android and Windows Phone), and that has been a major distraction for the last few years due to the tradeoffs required to make that happen.
However, the stars seem to be aligning for a new renaissance where developers can get wide support for the applications with a reasonable amount of effort. Xamarin has been working closely with Microsoft of late and has made some great strides to enable the scenario many have been waiting to see materialize.
Russell Fustino, Xamarin developer evangelist, explained that “Xamarin allows you to write iOS, Windows Phone and Android apps in C#, and share virtually all the business logic (around 75% for many customers), all while delivering a high-quality, performant native mobile app.” The promise of this latest release of Xamarin’s tools (dubbed 3.0)—including Xamarin Forms—has reinvigorated the idea that companies can write once and deploy everywhere.
Fustino pointed out that, “because of the extensive code-sharing opportunities, Azure Mobile Services logic can now be written only one time, instead of for each platform, saving massive amounts of time and delivering a consistent user experience across multiple platforms.” To enable this, Xamarin has opened up its own Component Store.
With the platform matured and distractions being handled, it is reasonable to expect adoption to accelerate. The key to managing this is understanding what Azure can and cannot do at any given time.