Course info
Feb 15, 2012
2h 37m

Today's mobile applications greatly benefit from leveraging the cloud for back-end storage and services. Accessing the Windows Azure platform from Windows Phone applications makes for unlimited possibilities for developers. However, working with Azure from a device comes with challenges, such as dealing with HTTP-based communication and access control. The Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone was created by people from Microsoft to simplify make mobile cloud scenarios for Windows Phone developers, through a set of services and tools that greatly facilitate performing common tasks involved in working with Azure tables, blobs and queues. This course, takes an in-depth and hands-on look at leveraging Azure storage services from a Windows Phone application, by exploring and building on top of the toolkit. Along the way, we introduce each of the Azure storage types, and we learn about the programming interfaces they expose and how to work with them directly and through the toolkit’s architecture.

About the author
About the author

Yacine has been involved in the development of database-driven, n-tier web applications for over 10 years. Over time he has taken on various roles, including development, project management, offshore platform management and technical consulting. He has helped build a few solutions for Microsoft North Africa.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Working with Azure Tables
In this module, we'll look at Azure tables from the perspective of a Windows phone application. Tables are a very powerful storage medium, from which our phone application can greatly benefit. In this talk, we continue to delve into the Windows Azure toolkit for Windows phone, which we introduced in the first module. And we look at how the toolkit makes it simpler and safer to work with these Azure storage facilities. We begin with a brief review of a couple of fundamental Azure table concepts. And we take a peek at the tables service REST API. Then we discuss the cloud storage client for Windows phone that's included in the toolkit and how it built on top of the data services client library to enable cloud operations on the table service. And finally, we'll talk about the Windows Azure authentication scheme, and we look at how the toolkit adds its own custom authorization layer to the picture.

Working with Blobs
Hello, this is Part 3 of the Windows Phone and Azure talk series. In this talk, we examine Windows as your blob storage, which lets you store large binary files such as pictures and video. Like for Tables, we'll look at the ways that the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone makes it simpler to implement blob scenarios from a phone application, by providing you powerful yet customizable infrastructure. As always, we start with some key background concepts about blobs, what they are and how they're accessed over HTTP. Then we zoom in on the Windows Phone-specific. NET API that's included in the toolkit, which enables operations such as creating a container or blob, uploading a file to a blob, attaching metadata, and so on. Next, we focus on blob access control and specifically on shared access signatures, and we discuss what they are, why they are important and how they work. And since shared access signatures are a key feature in the toolkit, we then look at the way that the toolkit leverage is done to manage access to blobs from a phone application. And finally, we learn how to build on top of the toolkit's blob features for our own scenarios and how to customize it to fit our specific needs.

Working with Queues
Welcome to part four of this Windows Phone and Azure course. In this module, we'll discuss Windows Azure queues in some depth and the role that they play in a CloudBack mobile application running on Windows Phone. This is the last piece of the tables, blobs and queues trilogy from the perspective of a phone application. If you haven't already, you may want to watch the other parts first, as this talk builds upon some of the material that we've covered so far. So we'll begin with some key concepts about Windows Azure queues and the queue service. We'll then take a glance at the queue API that's exposed by the storage client and the Windows Azure toolkit for Windows Phone. And we'll walk through some codes to get a grasp of class interactions throughout the overall toolkit's architecture. Then we'll set out to build a new version of our Contact Manager application, using queues and a worker role to illustrate a typical CloudBack architecture. And we'll finish up with a focus on the queue service's message durability approach, which is an example of the design for failure philosophy that's built into the Azure platform.