Announcing MBaaS Service Retirement

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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  • Christian Holzmann

    Great… we developed now for over 6 months our app app that is based on appcenter… push and so on… NOW that we have finished it and put it into the stores… microsoft turns everything off…?
    How shall small companies afford another XXXXX€ or $ to let them have their apps reprogrammed….?

  • 嘉斌 Jia Pin

    Truly disappointing to learn it today when I was about to start new app. Spent and invested so much resources to implement Push notification (initially lack of documentations) and use it less than one year, it’s retiring. Now have to migrate 5 apps to Azure and relearn everything again. I think MS is trying to make money in Azure by pushing us over. AppCenter Push is so simple and good performance, no way it’s to end if not due to commercial purposes.

  • Pavlo Mishyn

    I was so happy to see Push services ready to go, but happiness was not long..

  • Wil Wilder Apaza Bustamante

    Time and time again I have seen Microsoft, over these last five years, drop the ball on stuff like this. We get it – Azure is very profitable. VSAC is not as profitable.

    VSAC is a great product and the fact that it has stalled for over a year now, and you are now removing features from it, is cause for great concern. I wonder how long before VSAC itself gets mothballed.

    If you drop services like this, while other services like Firebase still have them and add to them daily, where do you think your customers will go?

    I don’t use VSAC anymore because I feel like Microsoft isn’t moving it forward. I’m glad I stopped because now it’s actually moving *backwards*.

  • 嘉斌 Jia Pin

    Anybody know what is the best alternative if I’m doing Xamarin.Forms? I do not want to use Push and Azure anymore, worry that Microsoft will pull back again someday.

    • Charles Roddie

      Obviously there needs to be a netstandard or xamarin repo/nuget package to work with Azure Notification Hubs but that doesn’t exist at the moment. I can’t see where is a good place to post to discuss this but if I find the right repo I’ll come back and link here.

  • Eric from in2Facts

    This is really really a problem for us. We are about to release a mobile app to 3 markets for one of our biggest customers.
    We created multiple apps (2 for each market – iOS and Android) – so 6 in total all before end of Jan 2020.
    We did test and and used push notifications on iOS, but not on Android.
    Now Microsoft removed Push from the Android apps (since push was not used).

    This is by no means acceptable as we will not be able to release the Android apps with Push notifications.
    Even if it was preview, you can’t expect people to develop against it and then without proper notice pull the plug.

    I have no problem (well I do have, but it is what it is) with the fact that we have to migrate, but I do have a problem with the fact that we can’t release the app, while media (including TV) was bought.

    Can somebody from the App Center team please get in touch.

    • John Wargo Microsoft employee

      Eric, we apologize for that specific side-effect. There is a work-around: just provision the PNS settings in the Android app using the App Center REST API and the portal UI will unhide for that app.

      • 嘉斌 Jia Pin

        Please reconsider of keeping the Push, it’s affecting lots of developers and wasting millions of minutes to learn, implement and later on ditched and need to relearn and redo everything again.

  • Teddy Albina

    Pfffff, honestly you just don’t care about your clients at ALL. Microsoft is not reliable anymore.

  • Marius-Ciprian Nicolae

    We have Push section in appcenter for the Android app, but can’t see it for iOS. We are in the final stage of launching the app with push notifications: what can we do now for the iOS app? In fact, today we uploaded the app in Test Flight and we were planning next week, Monday or Tuesday to publish it.
    Please tell us what can we do with the iOS, in order to be able to launch it with push notifications.

    • John Wargo Microsoft employee

      The Push portal UI doesn’t appear for apps that don’t have Push configured. To get around this, simply use the REST API to set PNS credentials in your app, and the Portal UI will appear again.

  • Nikollaq Haxhi

    After a very long and effort consuming integration activity of AppCenter: Auth, Data and Push into my solution, I need throw everything away!
    I thought was the right choice moving from Google’s Firebase to Microsoft’s AppCenter for above SDKs, but that would had been better switching to AWS

    Very very disappointing!

  • Trevor Tirrell

    Hey John, the migration documentation is really bad.

    I just finished implementing Azure AD B2C in my app, but had to do so from about a dozen different references. I plan to write a blog and upload a video to help others who are facing this same problem. (www.ttirrell.com)

    So far I am unable to figure out how to implement the Azure AD B2C with ComsosDB. It would be nice to have a tutorial for the migration that would walk us through.

    I haven’t even got to push yet 🙁

    • John Wargo Microsoft employee

      The Push story isn’t complete yet, Engineering is working on a migration plan for Azure Notification Hubs. We hope to have that story, and the retirement date for App Center Push soon.

    • Matthew Cuda

      Azure is overkill for most of us when it comes to push notifications and basic service implementations. Write your own for each platform. You will be surprised how easy it is, once you get into ti.