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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks

My experience with Azure Mobile Services

Impressed with the way the MVA (Microsoft Virtual Academy) SPA (Single Page App) tutorial uses the WAMS (Windows Azure Mobile Services) feature of  back-end as a service, I've started using it for a simple hobby project. While building it, I had to go through several interesting articles to fill the gaps in my understanding of Azure Mobile Services that were specific to my project. Rather than add the bookmarks to the existing pile, I thought I should organize the facts for easy future reference
- The code name for WAMS prior to its public release was Zumo. That explains why header keys have Zumo in them.

- Azure Mobile Services should have been called "Backend in a Box" or "Azure Backend Accelerator".

- Rather than creating your own RESTful service with CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) to return JSON stored in a database, you can show Mobile Services what your data should be shaped like and it lets you query it dynamically

- You can use Fiddler or Postman Chrome extension to test REST calls

- When I forgot to specify Content-Type as application/json in the header info while trying to update a record with a HTTP PATCH request, it threw a 400 Bad Request error

- Application key is NOT a security feature

- Dynamic schema option may be disabled from the Configure tab so the schema cannot be modified. Cross-origin resource sharing can be handled by adding specific host names to the list of accepted domains.

- WAMS abstracts away social identity logins (Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft ID) as well as mobile push notifications.

- Mobile applications can create and modify data even when they are offline. When the app is back online, it can synchronize local changes with the Mobile Services back-end. The feature also includes support for detecting conflicts when the same record is changed on both the client and the back-end, allowing the developer to decide how to handle such conflicts.

- You can restrict access to insert/update/read and delete permissions on the tables within your Mobile service to authenticated users
- Comparing the Azure portal in old video tutorials with the current portal can give an indicator of the new features that have been added (or removed)

Related: Forget Parse, Use Azure Mobile Services to Create an API for your Mobile App or Website

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