Mobile Backend on Azure
I would like to share an interesting trend related to Azure. Azure offers high availability and on-demand scalability, besides cost effectiveness — factors crucial for organizations embarking on the digital enablement journey. In fact, Azure forms the digital backbone for organizations, and can scale on demand to meet the growing traffic and surge in digital devices within and outside organizations.
Let’s look at this closely. Mobility is no longer a good-to-have feature in customer service or employee engagement, but an absolute necessity. This requires some changes in standard applications, apart from building a mobile interface. Based on our experience, we categorize these changes as follows:
- Enabling seamless communication with mobile applications
- Ensuring security of data transfer between the mobile client and backend applications
- Enabling the application to withstand requests seamlessly
- Communicating with the mobile device via provider notifications
- Improving and regulating performance of the application
- Measuring the request trend
Though one can have many solutions for each of them, some of the easiest and preferred solutions are:
- Expose the REST-based interface with an additional security layer, such as OAuth to ensure appropriate authentication and authorization
- Encrypt your data at rest and in transit using SSL, encryption keys and certificates
- Introduce a scalable cloud platform and host your applications on cloud
- Introduce a cache layer to cater to requests without calling the applications every time
- Introduce audit and analytics at the request interceptor to ensure that you are collecting the data to aid business decisions
- Setup services with individual providers and call their respective APIs for sending notifications on mobile devices
Microsoft Azure provides all of these with utmost ease and complete integration and a wide range of options to choose from:
- Mobile services with easy integration with OAuth, Active Directory and caching services
- Cloud backend services
- Caching services such as Redis and Azure Managed Cache
- API service for managing and controlling access to the exposed services
- Active Directory services for authentication and authorization
- Azure Service Bus for integration
- Notification hub for sending notifications to mobile devices
Syntel’s Mobile Backend Service Framework, MBaaS, supplements Azure to accelerate adoption of some of these functionalities and add value with some homegrown functionalities such as format preserving encryption and REST to SOAP conversion.
To conclude, Azure does come across as a platform that has multiple solutions to host your mobile backend services with ease. Syntel’s accelerators only make it easy and faster to digitally transform your business.
Yusuf Rangwala is a Principal Architect with the Services Transformation Group in Syntel. He leads the Azure Practice and has over 14 years of experience in providing Microsoft based IT solutions.