Announcing MBaaS Service Retirement

John Wargo [MSFT]

John

Focusing App Center on DevOps

Microsoft has always been focused on enabling developers to be more productive, to achieve their ambitions, and subsequently make the world better for it. We strive to build amazing experiences so that developers can seamlessly build, test, deploy, run, and monitor their code. Earlier last year, we launched the App Center Auth and Data services in early preview. Together with App Center Push, the three services form the App Center Mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) offering, and give developers an easy entry into using Azure as a backend for mobile apps.

At the start of this journey, we prioritized a growth mindset, the creation of a simple portal and SDK experience, and a customer first roadmap that would evolve based on feedback and feature requests submitted via our App Center repo. As we’ve received feedback and our learning matured, we realized that the better long-term path is for developers to use the native Azure services, namely Azure Active Directory B2C, Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Notification Hubs.

As a result, we are discontinuing efforts in the Auth, Data, and Push services and working to retire these preview services in App Center. With this change, we will focus App Center on delivering a world-class mobile and desktop DevOps experience. We will also work together with Azure teams to help migrate developers to the native Azure services, and ensure that Azure continues to be a great platform for your mobile apps.

What This Means to You

Your apps can continue to use these services for now; we want to give you ample time to consider, and implement other options for your apps before we retire the services. The following sections outline our phased MBaaS retirement plan.

Immediate Changes

Starting today, for apps that do not have any of the retired services configured, we removed each from the App Center portal UI. For any apps configured for Auth, Data, or Push, we implemented a migration experience in the portal to walk you through the process of moving from the retired services. For these customers, we recommend the following:

In an upcoming App Center SDK release, we will remove the Auth and Data SDKs. The App Center Auth and Data services will continue to operate until May 3, 2020, to give customers time to migrate to another solution.

Since App Center Push has more sophisticated backend requirements and more complex migration steps, Push will remain available longer to give customers additional time to complete their migration to a different service.

For more information on how to migrate to a corresponding Azure service, please refer to the migration guides for Auth, Data, and Push.

May 3, 2020

After this date, the Auth and Data services will no longer be available in the App Center portal; the services may continue to operate for a short while after this date, but you will not be able to interact with either service using the App Center portal UI.

App Center Push Retirement Timeline

Microsoft is committed to providing the best notification offering possible and we think the best way to do this is to focus our efforts on a single offering in Azure Notification Hubs. We know many of you value the unique features unique to App Center Push and we want to offer similar capabilities in Azure Notification Hubs. With that in mind, we’re working to create a transition plan which causes the least disruption to our existing customers as they move to Azure Notification Hubs.

When we have more details, we’ll communicate the final plan and timeline for App Center Push retirement.

Moving Forward

Thank you for participating in all our early previews, actively engaging in calls with our team, and sharing your feedback to collectively build App Center. Over the next 6 months, we’ll be hard at work with a list of DevOps focused improvements, and can’t wait for you to see them! As you begin your journey to migration, we’ll be with you every step of the way, so feel free to ask any questions via our App Center Support or share your feedback.

57 comments

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  • Avatar
    James G. Baker

    Very disappointing. The App Center Push integration did seem to make this a much better experience. The vast majority of apps require Push Notifications and it made sense they were a part of App Center.

    If there was a different SDK to do this that would be fine but there isn’t, basically left on your own to cobble it together yourself.

  • yankees gohome
    yankees gohome

    Honestly, this sucks. We invested so much of our time in the Push service at the expense of Microsoft’s short-sighted product decisions. Now, we have to spend months migrating everything to another service. This is not the first time Microsoft has been disappointing to say the least.

  • Avatar
    Olias

    This is a real bummer…
    I really liked the simplicity of using Data and at some extend Auth…
    The default implementation of azure really sucks if all you want to do is simply have an app with online sync.
    Now everyone has to continue developing offlinesync etc. by there own…
    It was the reason why we choose Azure over AWS…

  • Avatar
    Olias

    The “migration” guides are missing some important information like:
    How connect the AD B2C with Cosomos DB so that the users can only see there own documents(and shared documents).

  • Avatar
    David Brenchley

    This is Horrible news. These features were the entire reason I went with app center. I’m just starting out as a business and this actually may even sink me. Shame in you Microsoft.

  • Avatar
    Giampaolo gabba

    So… with AppCenter i can add push notifications to my apps in less than 5 minutes. With Azure Notification Hub i dont event get a sdk for Xamarin.Forms (a Microsoft product, btw) and need to write a ton of code in native platform… Not to mention the clunky experience on setting up the hub compared to AppCenter…. this sucks and i will will never, ever, use a cloud service from microsoft anymore….

  • Avatar
    Ross McCulloch

    Is there any chance that the data sync SDK code will be open sourced since there is no migration path for this part? Writing efficient and reliable data sync is not a trivial task

  • Avatar
    Thomas Galliker

    I read this news while I just spent two weeks of development effort to integrate push notification using AppCenter. The page in AppCenter still says “Preview”. Why can’t you call it “Depricated”? It’s so frustrating. Who is going to pay my effort now? Do you seriously think I’m going to integrate another (expensive) Azure service which takes me another good amount of development time to integrate? SERIOUSLY, MICROSOFT, this is very disappointing.

  • Avatar
    Fredrik Haglund

    Sorry to hear that but unfortunately not surprised. The unified approach weaving together services and simplifying getting started was a good intention. Hopefully the three different Azure teams will improve their SDK and take inspiration from your efforts.