What is Azure Mobile Services?

Microsoft Azure Mobile Services are designed to create highly-functional mobile apps using Azure easily. Azure Mobile Services brings together a set of services that enable backend capabilities for your apps and allows you to accelerate your mobile app development by providing a turnkey way to structure storage, authenticate users, and send push notifications. With SDKs for Windows, Android, iOS, and HTML as well as a powerful and flexible REST API, Mobile Services lets you to build connected applications for any platform and deliver a consistent experience across devices.

Store Data in the Cloud
Azure Mobile Services offers a straightforward way to store data in the cloud using Windows Azure SQL database, blob storage, table storage or third party data services like Mongo DB. Mobile Services and Service Bus Relay also provide the option to connect to on-premises databases so that sensitive data can be accessed on mobile devices without saving that data in the cloud.

Authenticate Users
Azure Mobile Services eliminates the need to write, configure, and test custom authentication systems. By copying over the App ID and Secret for Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, or Google account, you can authenticate your users with only a few lines of code. Implementing an app-specific authentication system is of course supported, as is connecting to Azure Active Directory for employee-facing mobile apps.

Send Push Notifications
Sending push notifications is as simple as uploading your developer credentials for a given platform and typing push.apns.send for iOS, push.gcm.send for Android, etc. You can also connect to Notification Hubs to broadcast push notifications to millions of devices across a variety of popular platforms. Notification Hubs also enables pub or sub routing and tag-based multicast, which makes it easier to send push to a particular subset of users.

Monitor, alert, and auto scale
Azure Mobile Services provides a number of capabilities that help you better understand the health of your applications. Health Metrics Dashboard helps you monitor the health and availability of applications. Alerts can be set up to notify the degraded service availability. You can also configure your application to automatically scale up or down to match the current demands while minimizing costs via auto scale rules.