Microsoft announced a new App Service for its Azure cloud platform today that gives developers a one-stop shop for services that help them build different kinds of cloud-backed apps.
The service brings together Azure’s previous Websites service for running web apps, the platform’s Mobile Services tools for cross-platform mobile app developers and BizTalk services for integrating enterprise applications into one package. Websites became App Service’s Web Apps offering while Mobile Services is now Mobile Apps. Existing Websites users will be automatically migrated to the Web Apps offering, and Mobile Services users can make the switch to App Service using these instructions.
BizTalk has been integrated into a new Logic Apps offering that lets technical users and developers integrate consumer, commercial and on-premise services. Microsoft also launched a new API Apps service that lets developers discover, host and manage Application Programming Interfaces in the cloud. APIs allow programs to pull information from different services and are a key building block of many modern web applications. Microsoft’s new service makes it easier for developers to manage all of them.
API Apps launches with support for a variety of popular enterprise systems like SAP and Siebel, along with services like Salesforce, Office 365, Zendesk and Dynamics CRM Online. Developers can also use API apps for integrating with their own on-premise APIs and publishing public or private APIs through Microsoft Azure.
Developers sign up for a single App Service plan and pay one price for all of the apps that they host with the service, no matter what different offerings they happen to be using. Simplifying Microsoft’s mass of cloud service offerings could make it a more attractive choice for developers who want an easy way to get started building apps in the cloud and have room to grow.
Microsoft is fighting tooth and nail with providers like Amazon and Google to pick up as many cloud service clients as possible. By making it easier to build apps, App Service could be the deciding factor for a new customer to make the jump to Azure.