Visual Studio App Center Preview: Welcoming Auth and Data to the Portfolio

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James

Earlier this year we announced our plans to expand the Visual Studio App Center portfolio with new mobile backend services. Since that time, our team has been hard at work developing the first of these new offerings. We are excited to announce two new services available today as an early preview, App Center Auth and Data. This preview, along with the recently updated App Center Push, represents the start of the App Center Mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) offering.

App Center Auth

When developing apps, providing a tailored experience for each of your users typically translates to higher engagement with customers. Whether that be saving user preferences for smarter product recommendations in a commercial app, tracking player progress in a game, or simply validating user access to your internal corporate app, you will need a way to authenticate the user. Instead of writing and storing all of this logic yourself, App Center Auth provides easier turn-key access to get setup quickly. For our preview we are enabling access to Azure AD B2C, but will be offering more options in the future, including the option to connect to your own existing identity provider. More details can be found at aka.ms/appcenterauth

App Center Data

No matter what kind of app you are building, you will likely be generating and processing data in some form. Built on top of CosmosDB, App Center Data enables you to easily manage and sync application data across multiple devices and users. For our initial preview, we are offering the ability to manage public, read-only data as well as private user associated data, both online and offline. Private data is done by authenticating users, using App Center Auth or other identity providers in the future. We also plan on adding additional support for real-time sync, conflict resolution callbacks, and more to make data management even easier. More details can be found at aka.ms/appcenterdata

App Center Push

Along with our new Auth and Data services, we have been working on improving App Center Push. Available today, you can leverage the ability to identify users in App Center and send targeted push notifications directly to those users. This can be done both by using the SDK SetUserID functionality or App Center Auth. If you are using Push today in App Center, we would love to hear about your experiences and how we can evolve thing going forward.

We Want your Feedback

App Center Data and Auth are available as an early preview, we will share more details in the next couple of weeks about what is available and what to expect in the future. In the meantime, we invite you to log into App Center, check out what is available today, and share your feedback. We want to hear what you would like to see and how we can improve the offering available. Our plan is to incorporate your feedback into our MBaaS plans and build the service together. If you are attending Microsoft Build, make sure to stop by our booth in the Expo hall and say hi to the team. We look forward to hearing what you are building with App Center.

 

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James White

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