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

Comments are closed. Login to edit/delete your existing comments

  • Vincent C

    “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”.

    Well not sure this will be the case. AppCenter UI was perfect, the swagger was clear like crystal. I really don’t understand this, now this might lead other services of AppCenter to also drop as a lot of ppl won’t be confident anymore … anyway.

    Would you also keep providing nice features for Xamarin Forms with Notifications Hub ?

  • Matthew Cuda

    This is exactly the floundering I have come to love about Microsoft. We get used to doing it one way and it is effective and they move on to something else which is supposed to be “so much better.”

  • Ricardo Lopes

    This is NOT acceptable ! We are not talking about an old product here.
    We invest so much time on mobile app to make PUSH notifications work. So much money involved and invested by our customers…and by us

    We were relying on Microsoft because of their product strategy and their long term support… this is not the case anymore.
    This is a breaking point !

    We will stop working with Microsoft for our next products, for sure !

  • Daniel Paredes Sánchez

    I had been used Azure Notification Hub before to start using AppCenter, and I need to say that AppCenter Push is the best notification push service that Microsoft offers. Please, I don’t want to go back to use Azure Notification Hubs, AppCenter is easier to implement, and for example we don’t have to use iOS specific certificates.

    As James Montemagno says… “If you want full control over your notifications and don’t mind doing a little bit more work inside of your applications to set it up then Azure Notification Hubs is for you. Notification Hub sits in the middle of your server and devices to handle registration and offer a single source” this is the Azure Notification Hub description, but I only want a “solution for implementing push notifications my mobile applications” that it is exactly the AppCenter description that makes James Montemagno.

    https://montemagno.com/push-notification-options-for-xamarin/

    If James Montemagno says that, who is the Principal Program Manager, Mobile Developer Tools of Microsoft, I think that you should keep both push services.

    In addition, I had a conversation with the Microsoft Support and they recommended me to use AppCenter, for some problems of the iOS13 update that affected to some configurations into the Azure Notification Hubs.

  • David McKay

    Many thanks M$FT. Your acquisition and slow dissolution of Hockey App and half its good attributes makes me so happy. With Google absorbing FireBase, now I don’t need to worry about these smaller companies innovating and simplifying the xplat mobile development experience. Long live the oligopoly.

  • Juan David Nicholls

    Ohh guys, I think it’s a wrong decision, can you analyze it again? Push Notifications is a very important feature for our apps and the mobile experience that you want to provide as a company, this was one of the reasons we choose AppCenter instead other platforms, without Push Notifications, Analytics or CodePush, AppCenter looks very basic, no one reason to still using it

  • Trevi Awater

    Very sad. It will require a lot of effort/time to migrate all our products 🙁

    Please consider keeping Push…

  • Matthew Waring

    Yeh, removing such an elegant Push implementation for what seems like only cost reasons really seems like dropping the ball here.
    Hope you reconsider this.

  • TikTok Rocker's

    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).

    • John Wargo Microsoft employee

      As I’ve explained in several other responses here, you can turn the Push UI back on by setting PNS credentials in your app using the App Center REST API. Don’t forget too about the blue chat button in the lower-right corner of any App Center page, that connects you directly with our dedicated support team and they could have directed you on how to reenable Push for your app.

  • TikTok Rocker's

    Ohh guys, I think it’s a wrong decision, can you analyze it again? Push Notifications is a very important feature for our apps and the mobile experience that you want to provide as a company, this was one of the reasons we choose AppCenter instead other platforms, without Push Notifications, Analytics or CodePush, AppCenter looks very basic, no one reason to still using it

    • John Wargo Microsoft employee

      Azure Notification Hubs is a more robust solution and eliminates many of the limitations of App Center Push. You should really take a look at it.