Microsoft brings Azure tools to iOS developers

Microsoft has branched out with its Azure toolkit, offering it to developers on Apple's iOS platform in an attempt to get them to integrate Azure into applications.

A stored JPEG image from Azure loading up on an iOS device.
A stored JPEG image from Azure loading up on an iOS device. Microsoft

In its quest to get developers on Apple's iOS platform more friendly with Microsoft technologies Microsoft this morning released a new toolkit that helps developers integrate the company's Azure platform into the guts of iOS applications.

The open-source kit, which Microsoft has posted to Github, helps iOS developers build Windows Azure integration into applications at a very low level. Microsoft says this works on both the iPhone and the iPad, giving applications a way to plug into data and notifications from services running on Azure.

"Today, it's not just about how quickly a developer can create an experience, but how quickly that developer can build apps that work with unique devices across a dozen platforms," wrote Jamin Spitzer, the senior director of platform strategy for Microsoft, in a TechNet post.

Spitzer said that the solution is to use cloud services as the "common back-end" to simplify those efforts.

"Using the toolkits, developers can use the cloud to accelerate the creation of applications on the major mobile platforms. Companies, including Groupon, are taking advantage to create a unified approach to cloud-to-mobile user experience," Spitzer said.

Microsoft has set up the system to let developers plug their Azure account information directly into apps, or run that authentication through a proxy server. That first method is the easier and more self-contained of the two, but hinders access controls and authorizations, the company said. By comparison, the proxy method, which has applications validating access to Azure keeps the username and password information from residing within the app.

Windows Azure is Microsoft's cloud platform. The service, which turned 1 year old in February, lets developers write programs that live inside Microsoft's data centers. These applications can then take advantage of considerable processing power, making use of multiple processing cores and software that can be maintained and kept up to date without local hardware infrastructure.

The iOS Azure toolkit joins a similar version for Microsoft's own Windows Phone 7 platform. Additionally, Microsoft says it's working on a version for Google's Android OS, which should arrive next month.

 

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