App Services are a set of platform as a service (PaaS) services that hide the complexity of building applications on Azure and allow you to focus on the business and delivering quick results. This is another step in the enhancement of PaaS offerings which started way back with cloud services and web and worker roles.
App Services consist of various services (which is being updated, such as Functions which extended the original App Services):
- Web Apps: which allow you to quickly get your web applications up and running in Azure without worrying about all the web server and infrastructure issues
- Web APIs: does the same, but for Web APIs. You can quickly publish your APIs and they are ready for consumption
- Logic Apps: probably the coolest service. These allow you to build orchestrations on the cloud. For people coming from integration/middleware background (like myself), these are supper cool
- Mobile Apps: provide backend services to mobile apps. Probably the biggest benefit is that they allow mobile apps to work offline and sync with the Azure back end when they are online – a very useful feature when data usage/cost is an issue and you want to sync only on a WIFI connection for example. Also they provide push notifications – another very useful feature.
- Functions: as I said, this release extended App Services. This service allows you to write code (not related to any existing web app or web api), that can hook up and respond to certain events. You can use those to perform tasks such as background image or message processing.
App Services run on top of the Service Fabric, which abstracts away the physical resources. The Service Fabric allocates resources to the App Services based on configuration and scalability settings.
In this series I will cover most of the App Services – mostly at introductory level – starting with Web Apps.