A big announcement was made today by Scott Guthrie regarding a set of new functionalities that are available in Windows Azure. Among them, the ones regarding Azure Mobile services are particularly important:

  • Back-end support for .NET code (finally)
  • Integration with Service Bus Notification Hubs

Until now, there was somewhat of a disconnect between Mobile Services and Service Bus, in a sense that one could have used Mobile Services for "regular" push notifications (regular meaning targeted to a relatively small number of devices) and Service Bus for mass push notifications. With the integration that has been announced, Mobiles Services is now a complete platform from this point of view. Even more important, it is the only area mobile developers need to interact with, eliminating the need to cope with two different functional areas.

The rest of the stuff announced is great as well:

  • ExpressRoute: Dedicated, private, high-throughput network connectivity with on-premises
  • Web Sites: Backup and Restore Support
  • Mobile Services: .NET support, Notification Hub Integration, PhoneGap support
  • HDInsight: Hadoop 2.2 support
  • Management: Co-admin limit increased from 10->200 users
  • Monitoring: Service Outage Notifications Integrated within Management Portal
  • Virtual Machines: VM Agent and Background Information Support
  • Active Directory: More SaaS apps, more reports, self-service group management
  • BizTalk Services: EDIFACT protocol support, Service Bus Integration, Backup and Restore