Windows Azure Mobile Services with .NET Backend

In this post, I will take a look at the new .NET support provided in Windows Azure Mobile Services for building mobile backend. Windows Azure Mobile Services was a technology based on Node.js, where we write backend code in JavaScript and we can leverage the Node.js ecosystem including NPM modules. But with the new release of Windows Azure Mobile Services, we can also build Mobile Services backend with .NET, which is a ASP.NET Web API based infrastructure. This is super exciting feature to .Net developers as developers can now work with Visual Studio 2013 for building Mobile Services backend with .NET where they can debug, test and run applications locally with their favourite IDE Visual Studio. For ASP.NET Web API developers, they can work with Mobile Services using their existing skills.

Creating Windows Azure Mobile Services with .NET 

Let’s create new Windows Azure Mobile Services with .NET backend. When we create a new Mobile Services, we can specify the backend as JavaScript (Node.js) or .NET. Let’s choose .NET as backend for our new Mobile Services.

image

The figure below shows that the new mobile services has been created. We can choose our preferred client development platform from the available platforms. 

image

Let’s choose client development platform. Let’s choose Windows Store and select Create a New Windows Store app under getting started:

portal 

Let’s choose language as C# and download, which will provide a Visual Studio 2013 solution with boilerplate code for working with table Todoitem  for both backend and client app. The Mobile Services project is a ASP.NET Web API project where a NuGet package for Mobile Services added to the ASP.NET Web API project. The below figure shows the solution structure.

image

The code block below provides the implementation of TodoItemController which provides Web API methods for creating CRUD operations against the table Todoitem 

public class TodoItemController : TableController<TodoItem>
{
protected override void Initialize(HttpControllerContext
 controllerContext)
{
  base.Initialize(controllerContext);
  zumodotnetContext context = new 
zumodotnetContext(Services.Settings.Name.Replace('-', '_'));
    DomainManager = new 
EntityDomainManager<TodoItem>(context, Request, Services);
}
 
// GET tables/TodoItem
public IQueryable<TodoItem> GetAllTodoItems()
{
    return Query();
}
 
// GET tables/TodoItem/48D68C86-6EA6-4C25-AA33-223FC9A27959
public SingleResult<TodoItem> GetTodoItem(string id)
{
    return Lookup(id);
}
 
// PATCH tables/TodoItem/48D68C86-6EA6-4C25-AA33-223FC9A27959
public Task<TodoItem> PatchTodoItem(string id,
   Delta<TodoItem> patch)
{
    return UpdateAsync(id, patch);
}
 
// POST tables/TodoItem/48D68C86-6EA6-4C25-AA33-223FC9A27959
public async Task<IHttpActionResult> PostTodoItem(
                                     TodoItem item)
{          
    TodoItem current = await InsertAsync(item);
    return CreatedAtRoute("Tables",
    new { id = current.Id }, current);
}
 
// DELETE tables/TodoItem/48D68C86-6EA6-4C25-AA33-223FC9A27959
public Task DeleteTodoItem(string id)
{
    return DeleteAsync(id);
}
}

The code block below provides the TodoItem model.

 
    public class TodoItem : EntityData
    {
        public string Text { get; set; }     
 
        public bool Complete { get; set; }
    }

Let’s add one more column to the TodoItem model for the sake of demo.

public class TodoItem : EntityData
    {
        public string Text { get; set; }
        public string Description { get; set; }
        public bool Complete { get; set; }
    }

The advantage of using .NET backend is that you can easily debug, test and the app locally from Visual Studio. The ASP.NET Web API app also provides a help page that provides help for invoking REST API endpoints.

runningtheapp_local

image

post_test

Deploying Windows Azure Mobile Services

You can deploy the Windows Azure mobile Services in the someway we are deploying a Windows Azure Web Site. Just right click on the Mobile Services project, and click publish, it will publish the mobile services project to Windows Azure. For the first time, we need to download the publish profile from Windows Azure portal and import the publishing profile using the publish wizard in Visual Studio. 

You can follow me on Twitter @shijucv

Published Friday, February 21, 2014 5:36 AM by shiju

Comments

# re: Windows Azure Mobile Services with .NET Backend

Monday, March 10, 2014 10:14 AM by Bharat Tiwari

The biggest advantage I see of using .net back-end is the availability of the whole .net framework/library (although  haven't really worked on node.js yet, but from what I have read node.js also has a vast support and packages/libraries)

Other is I can have now options to use the technology with which I am comfortable (.net or js - whichever you prefer).

But, apart from these two, are there any other specific advantage that I am missing, that one back-end may give over the other  ( performance/scalibility/..), that I should be aware of while choosing from the two for my ZuMo backend.

# re: Windows Azure Mobile Services with .NET Backend

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 12:31 AM by shiju

@Bharat Tiwari - IMHO, Node.js would perform better if the backend is not having CPU-intensive tasks. Node is great for handling I/O, but weak for CPU-intensive operations.

# re: Windows Azure Mobile Services with .NET Backend

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 9:04 PM by Bharat Tiwari

thanks,

Is it possible to build a ZuMo based Web API from an existing code-first EF? If I have to build a Web API using ZuMo Services, from an existing code-first EF, how do I go for it. Any documentation available to get me started?

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