Windows Azure Update: Hadoop, Dropbox, Mercurial, PhoneGap


    On March 18, Scott Guthrie announced in his blog the latest innovations in the Windows Azure cloud platform. The presented new functionality includes:

    • HTML5 clients (CORS) for Windows Azure Mobile Services, including access from the popular PhoneGap library;
    • improved support for Windows Phone 7.5, new libraries and the Nuget package;
    • support for hosting websites from Mercurial (Bitbucket, Codeplex) and Dropbox;
    • New templates in Web Sites
    • Public access to the HDInsight service, the Hadoop cloud platform as a service.

    Below about these innovations a little more.

    Support for HTML5 / JS clients and PhoneGap in Mobile Services

    Windows Azure Mobile Services offers a cloud infrastructure for all popular mobile platforms: Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. In the current update, support for mobile platforms has added support for HTML5 / JS web clients, in particular, the popular PhoneGap library. Now you can access all the data saved from mobile clients through code written in HTML5 / JS.


    An example of a finished application can be downloaded through the portal, it also describes how to connect an existing web application to the data of a mobile service.

    Accessibility from HTML5 code is supported by platform-level Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) support. The new setting in Windows Azure Mobile Services is responsible for this, which allows you to create a white list of addresses that are allowed to access data from mobile services.


    Details of the application of the new functionality can be found in this guide . Another guide describes how to use the user authorization mechanism.

    Support for Windows Phone 7.5, new libraries and the Nuget package

    The Mobile Services library is now available as a Nuget package , which will automate and simplify the installation of the library. Among the other novelties of the library, the following stand out:

    • portable library support;
    • support for Windows Phone 7.5
    • transition to new clients and support of the Json.NET and HttpClient libraries.

    Mobile Services Developers Call For Voting For New Features On UserVoice Website . Thanks to your requests, 3 out of 5 top offers were implemented in this release.

    Support for hosting websites from Mercurial and Dropbox

    The cloud-based Windows Azure Web Sites service has long supported the continuous deployment feature for version control systems TFS and Git and integration with Codeplex, BitBucket, GitHub, TFService. This update introduces new functionality that allows you to host sites from version control systems based on Mercurial (Codeplex and BitBucket) and Dropbox.

    To link your Web Sites project with a version control system, you must select one of the providers or sources of code. For BitBucket and Codeplex, you can use their Mercurial version control systems.

    Another major innovation is Dropbox support as a source for source files. Now placing a site in the cloud can be just a modification or transfer of a set of files in a local folder synchronized with Dropbox, after which these files will automatically be placed in the Windows Azure Web Sites cloud service.

    You can read about the new functionality on the official Dropbox blog . A detailed walkthrough on integrating Dropbox and Windows Azure can be found here .

    New Web Sites Templates

    The Windows Azure Web Sites cloud service has added new application templates that you can select at the stage of site creation. Several templates from the popular WebMatrix development environment have been added to the list, including for ASP.NET, PHP and Node.js projects:

    Some details can be found on the developer's blog .

    HDInsight Launches - Hadoop Cloud Platform as a Service

    The HDInsight service , which was previously available only by invitation, was launched into public test operation . HDInsight is a cloud service that offers the Hadoop ecosystem and clusters on demand. You can request participation in testing the service by the link . The answer comes within 1-2 days.

    Now, using the Windows Azure portal, you can create Hadoop clusters up to 32 nodes in size:


    After creating a cluster, you get full access to it, including via RDP and the ability to manage the cluster through a special administration panel, which allows you to create tasks for calculation on the cluster.


    In addition to creating MapReduce tasks, you can access an interactive console that allows you to write data requests in JavaScript and Hive. On the management page, some ready-made examples of tasks are presented that will allow you to quickly get an idea about the work of the cloud service.

    The first steps to using HDInsight are described in this article. Information on using Hadoop clusters with Windows Azure cloud storage is described in this blog . You can find more information about using Hadoop in the Windows Azure cloud and obtaining clusters on demand at the portal .

    useful links

    Below you will find links to resources that will help you use the Microsoft cloud platform:

    And if you are already developing on Windows Azure or want to find developers of your service, visit the service .

    We will be happy to answer your questions at .

    And look forward to seeing you in the Windows Azure Community on Facebook . Here you will find experts (do not forget to ask them questions), photos and a lot of news.

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