Exploring the Windows Azure Toolkit for Android
Microsoft’s cloud computing platform readily offers the ability to build against on the Windows ecosystem. However, to truly build global adoption, it needed an ability to allow non-Windows developers to take the benefit of the Windows Azure platform. With adoption in mind, Microsoft released toolkits for iOS and Android developers that would allow non-Windows developers to take advantage of the Windows Azure platform.
On August 31, 2011, Microsoft released the Windows Azure Toolkit for Android. You can get the toolkit here.
This toolkit comprises of native libraries, and a sample application. The toolkit was built in Eclipse, so Android developers can make use of that fact for tight integration of their build environment.
To start with, extract the contacts of the toolkit which is offered either as a zip file or a tar.gz file. The contents are divided in three sections as is apparent from the name of the folders.
- Library - Library code which implements storage client and authentication.
- Samples – Sample code.
- Tests - Unit tests
Once you create a workspace and include the downloaded source code, you can run the sample. To start with, you will have to update the ProxySelector.java file to include your Windows Azure credentials.
You can use your Windows Azure credentials and then run the sample under Eclipse. However, best practices dictate that we not use hard-coded credentials, but rather use a more secure route of using proxy services. Microsoft has released a set of pre-built services called Cloud Ready Packages for Devices. Once you configure your application to use proxy services, you can start building an Android application leveraging the full power of the Windows Azure storage services.
In this article, we learned how to use Windows Azure Toolkit for Android on non-Windows platforms. I hope you have found this information useful.
About the author
Vipul Patel is a Software Engineer currently working at Microsoft Corporation. He is currently working in the Microsoft Lync team and has worked in the .NET team earlier in the Base Class libraries and the Debugging and Profiling team. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org