Windows Azure gets updated; many new features added

Microsoft’s Windows Azure is a platform that we can use to build a web application, running and storing its data under the company’s datacenters. The same platform has now received a number of enhancements.

Updates to Windows Azure

All of these improvements are now live in production and available for use, beginning today. These new capabilities include:

Mobile Services

Windows Azure Mobile Services now supports the ability to easily schedule background jobs (aka CRON jobs) on a pre-set timer interval, running independently of a device accessing the service. The job scheduler functionality ensures a user that his experience doesn’t get disrupted irrespective of the task and allows him to perform a variety of useful scenarios without having to create or manage a separate VM.

Windows Azure scheduler

Web Sites

Microsoft has increased the scaling capabilities of Windows Azure Web Sites services. Earlier, a web-site could only be scaled up to run across 3 shared instances or 3 reserved VMs but, now developers can scale websites to six shared instances and up to 10 reserved instances (small/medium/large). Besides this, Windows Azure now includes a new custom create workflow that allows for the configuration of source control settings as part of the site creation.

Windows Azure website

In addition, Azure mobile services has now been extended to different geographical locations, including Northern Europe. Previously, Windows Azure Mobile Services was only supported in the US East and US West regions. Other services that have received some enhancements include,

  • SQL Data Sync (support in the new HTML portal)
  • ACS Management (support in the new HTML portal)
  • Media Services (job and task management, blob storage support, reserved compute)
  • Virtual Network enhancements
  • Subscription Filtering Support

You can get a complete report on them on ScottGu’s blog.

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Lee Whittington is a Tech Reporter and a Developer with the TWC Team. He has been writing for TWCN for several years and has also developed several freeware apps for The Windows Club, most of which have been very popular worldwide.