Another glorious announcement day for #windowsazure : Introducing Windows Azure Notification Hubs and Media Services go GA #MEETBE

azure newIt seems like the Windows Azure team is pushing overtime in overtime!! Kudos to Scott “the GuGuthrie and his team for making my life such a thrill and much fun !!! :-) (no really guys, you rock!!)

Today Guthrie made the announcement for a couple of interesting things:

First of all there’s the addition to the Service Bus stack which is called Notifications Hubs (formerly known as project “Iguazu”. We know Microsoft is pushing hard on Mobile devices (any technology) since September last year (see Windows Azure Mobile Services and the Surface for instance). since the coming of Mobile Services (MoSe from here) we had the ability to integrate Push Notifications from service level but only to the connected device(nevertheless it’s a very easy thing to set up … :-) ). With the coming of the Notifications Hub we get an additional powerful tool which allows us to send mass notifications in an extremely scalable way (the Azure way :-) ).
Again this technology has some key elements which will make a terrific addition to the platform:

  • It’s fully cross-platform, and there’s a choice in either sending platform specific notifications or in a generic all platform way
  • devices/users can register on the hubs with certain tags to send filtered notifications to an infinite number of receivers (either users or devices, do note the nuance) with just a single API call
  • It can be integrated in all kinds of back-ends regardless of the technology (IaaS on Windows and Linux support). Use it throughout the entire Windows Azure stack

As always you can easily start doing and using these features through the Management Portal :

My guess will be that the team will be adding cmdlets and cli tools with the next release of the SDK. Coding

For more info on the topic check the blogpost by Scott Guthrie (http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2013/01/22/broadcast-push-notifications-to-millions-of-mobile-devices-using-windows-azure-notification-hubs.aspx )and also Clemens Vaster’s Channel corner called “Subscribe”

For more information on implementation follow these links:

Another big deal today is the GA announcement of Windows Azure Media Services (it’s getting confusing right .. because now they have WAMS and WAMS (Mobile Services and Media Services).

Media Services allows you to achive following:

  • On demand streaming
  • Media encoding in the cloud
  • Media encryption in the cloud
  • Multiplatform players for all devices and plaforms (support for Flash, HTML , Silverlight or a custom player)

Important to know is that there are some significant changes in the SDK’s when comparing with the preview. The older preview SDK version 1.0 is now considered deprecated, please uninstall the Preview version of the SDK and recompile your code against the 2.0.1.0 release of the SDK.

Some of the significant changes are in:

  • Creating assets
  • MediaProcessor Naming change
  • progress for asset Upload/download
  • Job follow up through the portal

For people who are using the .NET SDK instead of the REST API, a Nuget Package is existing. You could search it by windowsazure.mediaservices.

http://nuget.org/packages/windowsazure.mediaservices

More information on the changes in Media Services and the GA announcement can be found here http://mingfeiy.com/breaking-changes-for-windows-azure-media-services-ga/ and here http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2013/01/22/announcing-release-of-windows-azure-media-services.aspx

DO NOTE there will be incurring charges as of now for some of the features, so please read the pricing indication and check the calculator for some forecasting numbers:

I’ll be doing a webcast on all the features in April (more info to follow on that).

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