Chris Risner . Com

TechEd North America 2014

Posted on: 5/20/2014 10:20:00 PM by

Last week I flew out to Houston, Texas to attend this year’s TechEd North America conference.  TechEd is the big Microsoft conference for IT Professionals and Enterprise Developers.  The big difference between this conference and the Build conference we just had is the technology focus.  While TechEd really does have an Enterprise focus, Build is centered around development (whether it’s Enterprise or Commercial or what have you).  At this year’s conference I delivered two sessions.

Java on Azure

This session explained the different ways you can host or run Java on Azure.  Together with Brian Benz, we went over the following topics:

  • Running Java on VMs (Oracle, Linux, Windows Server)
  • Running Java on Platform-as-a-Service (Cloud Services and Web Sites)
  • Accessing Azure Software-as-a-Service features with Java (tons of stuff)

This session wasn’t super coding deep but was really mostly an overview.  There isn’t a ton of focus on Java at TechEd (shocking I know) so instead of trying to go deep into one specific area, we tried to give everyone a general idea of their options for Azure and Java.  You can check out the video for the session here:

High-Volume, Low Latency Mobile Push Notifications

The second session I did covered how to use Azure Notification Hubs to do push notifications down to Mobile apps.  This session included some really cool topics like:

  • Registering with Hubs and pushing notifications
  • Registering with Tags and pushing to specific tags
  • Tag expressions
  • Geo-based push
  • Template based registration
  • Server vs Client registration

I really enjoyed this session because I was able to demonstrate Notification Hubs working with iOS, Android, and Windows Store apps all at once!  There was a lot of code used and walked through as part of this session so I posted it all, along with a brief walkthrough on setting it up, on GitHub.  You can check out the video for this session here:

If you have any questions or feedback about either of the sessions, please let me know.

Categories: Azure, Conferences, Microsoft
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Version 1 of the Mobile Services JWT token has been deprecated

Posted on: 4/22/2014 6:39:00 PM by

If you’ve been using Azure Mobile Services lately, you may have noticed a warning appearing in your logs with the following message:

Version 1 of the Mobile Services JWT token has been deprecated.  Please contact mobileservices@microsoft.com to find out how to update your code.

First, don’t freak out.  There’s a pretty good chance this doesn’t affect you at all.  Due to an unfortunate misstep, this warning has been showing up for some people that aren’t actually affected.  Read on to see if you need to make any changes.

Custom auth

Essentially, you only need to worry about this message if you’re doing custom auth with your Mobile Service.  If you are, you most likely found it in one of these locations:

The reason that you’re affected if you’re doing custom auth is that you’re generating your own JWT tokens.  If you’re using any of the built in auth (Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter) than your Mobile Service generates the JWT for you and your service is already updated.  If you are doing custom auth, read on for the instructions on how to update your code.

Updating the auth code

Thankfully, the changes required to move to version 2 are very simple and they can all be done in the server side scripts.  Here we have the code previously used to specify the contents of the JWT (note I’ve left off the code to make this URL friendly, merge it, etc):

We need to make two alterations to this code.  First the kid value needs to change from an integer to a string, so “0”.  Second, the ver value needs to change to 2.  Our updated code will look like this:

There is one other change you’ll have to make if you’re also doing custom claims.  If you’re specifying a urn:microsoft:credentials as part of the j2 value above, you’ll need to change it to match this shape:

Summary

Version 1 tokens will continue to work for some time though you’ll see that warning pop up in your logs if you continue to issue V1 tokens.  Thankfully the changes are small.  As always, I would advise making your changes against a test service prior to making the changes against a service backing a production app.  You can read more about the changes on the Azure Mobile Services blog.

Categories: Azure, Mobile Services
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