The Best Azure Platform Tools for Developers

The Best Azure Platform Tools for Developers

The Azure platform includes a plethora of different tools for developers to use to optimize their cloud operations. Here are the essential tools I use every day on the Azure platform

Microsoft Azure is a sophisticated cloud computing solution that lets you easily build and deploy databases, hosted services, and entire Web apps on your choice of technology stack -- from Windows and SQL Server to Linux and MongoDB, and a variety of options in between.

One facet that makes Azure unique among cloud solutions is how well integrated it's become with Visual Studio, allowing seamless development flow from project setup to deployment and resource management. Microsoft has certainly built on that integration, as you'll see, but so have several third-party solution providers and even individual developers

The Azure platform includes a plethora of different tools for developers to use to optimize their cloud operations.
Here are the essential tools I use every day on the Azure platform

1. App Service Editor

App Service Editor provides a Visual-Studio-like web-based editor to quickly edit the App Service. To open App Service Editor, open your App Service, then find it under the Development Tools section on the left-hand side blade.

It is very useful to be able to create and edit HTML, CSS, Javascript, configuration files and so on. The files are auto-saved and changes are reflected on the fly to your App Service, so I don’t suggest using it on the Production environment. But on the non-Prod environment, it can come in very handy for a quick test.

2. Application Map in Application Insights

The Application Map automatically discovers the topology of your application and lays the performance information on top of it. It presents a clear view of dependencies in your application. All of this makes it much easier to find problems in your application and diagnose them by drilling into each component in the topology. You can find the Application Map within your Application Insights by clicking on the Application Map under the Investigate section.

3. Kudu

Kudu has a set of very useful tools to help you troubleshoot and analyse your application hosted in Azure App Service. It is useful for capturing memory dumps, viewing configurations, accessing your application files and so much more. To open Kudu console, go via Advanced Tools under Development tools section in the left-hand side panel when viewing your App Service in the Azure Portal.

Alternatively, you can navigate to https://<my_site>.scm.azurewebsites.net (the name of the App Service is <my_site>), log in with your credentials to the Azure Portal, and once authenticated, you should see something similar to the below:

The Environment tab will list system info, AppSettings, Connection Strings as well as Environment variables. I personally use a lot of the Debug Console where I can explore my application files and run commands in PowerShell against my application.

4. Soft Delete for Azure Storage Blobs

Azure Storage allows you to soft delete blobs so that you can easily restore accidentally deleted or modified files. When this feature is turned on, you will be able to recover your data where the blobs or blob snapshots were deleted or modified within any time of the retention period set for the soft delete feature. By default, it is disabled. To enable it, go to the storage account that you want to enable Soft Delete. You will find it under the Blob service section, then simply change the toggle to Enabled and set the retention period of your choosing — between 1 to 365 days.

5. Azure Web Apps Disk Usage Site Extension

We recently had a problem where the Azure App Service backup failed due to the content being larger than 10GB, which is the threshold for the Azure App Service backup. When I went to the Debug Console in Kudu, it didn’t give me the size of each folder due to some folders being too big (I presume). That’s when I discovered this extension, and it worked like a charm!

Firstly, you need to install this extension by going to Kudu and clicking on Site extensions in the top navigation, search for Azure Web App Disk Usage Site Extension in the extension gallery and install it from there. After the installation, you will need to restart the site by clicking on the R estart site button on the top right corner. This will restart the SCM site, but it will not restart your App service or your application, so don’t worry! Once the extension is installed, click on the play button – this will start calculating the size of all the folders in your App Service and displaying it nicely.

Conclusion

The Azure platform includes a plethora of different tools for developers to use to optimize their cloud operations.
In this article I introduce only 5 tools that I find best to help you analyze, edit and restore in your Azure versions.

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Is Low-code or no-code development is future of mobile app development

Is Low-code or no-code development is future of mobile app development

Mobile app development has skyrocketed over these years with the increasing demand of mobile apps for a variety of purposes like entertainment, banking, weather update, health, booking movie tickets, booking a taxi etc. With the latest...

Mobile app development has skyrocketed over these years with the increasing demand of mobile apps for a variety of purposes like entertainment, banking, weather update, health, booking movie tickets, booking a taxi etc. With the latest technologies adopted by mobile app development services, there are different app development approaches which are being practiced. Among them is low-code or no-code development. But will it be the future of mobile app development? Will any mobile application development company start taking this approach as the primary one. Let’s try to find a detailed answer to this question.

But first, let’s understand what this approach exactly is? Well, it is a streamlined approach which involves swift design as well as development with minimal coding, generally relying on different third-party APIs.

Even though there isn’t any single definition of no-code or low-code development because it is actually more of a mindset rather than something which can be directly measured, this mindset has certainly led to a vast community mushrooming up with this mentality. Android app development services are rapidly adopted by this approach. Low-code app innovators are rapidly disrupting all types of various industries. There are a plethora of benefits to these low code platforms and let’s look at this.

1. Less Number of Bugs

It is pretty evident that less code actually means fewer bugs. As simple as that. The entire bug testing phase is actually a major part of modern and latest application development. It is quite inevitable that various issues will come up if there is actually enough code present there. But the best thing regarding low code platforms is that there’s certainly less to test. Also, when they actually tap into APIs, those particular APIs are actually tested by other people.

Lesser number of bugs is better for both users, as well as developers since less amount of time, will be taken up with bug-fixes and troubleshooting. Also, the fast pace of this development approach actually means that if in any case a bug is found, it is generally better just to develop a new iteration rather than fixing it.

2. Significant Lower Costs

Among the most obvious reasons for why you would actually opt for any low code platform is that in reality, low code results in lower cost. Low code development leads to faster app development which saves a lot of time and as a result, lower cost.

It's not only good for companies but also for developers. It certainly cut out the intermediaries, and while they charge less, they use fewer resources and finally come out on top. It is fun for developers because it stops them from actually finding themselves stuck on one particular project which seems to last forever. This is why most of the companies hire app developer who is a well-versed with low-code development.

3. Better Accessibility

The lesser amount of code an application uses, the lesser bandwidth is needed to download it as well as run it. This is quite good news for the people who are based in rural areas or in different developing countries where access to the internet isn’t as prevalent as Western countries. Also, as low code applications can easily be created quite easily than a traditional app, they can easily be released much more swiftly and at a much lower price, and sometimes for free. iPhone app development services follow this approach because it will help in increasing the uptake of their apps as it reduces the entry barrier for every person from lower-income families.

Innovative Development Approach

Among the most promising instances of a low-code or no-code platform is Uber. The apps tap into Google for Maps, Dropbox for storage, Braintree for payments and much more. The most interesting thing about this is that app programming interfaces of APIs which Uber actually relies upon are easily available to anyone who wishes to use them. Uber took those APIs and then used them to create, which was new without requiring to develop each of those particular individual elements, all by themselves. They developed their own brand on top of it by means of looking at how they could actually differentiate themselves from the rest of the others. Mobile app development services should follow this example to create their own low code mobile app which disrupts the market.

The best thing about this is that it inspires innovation. At present, the marketplace actually decides, and only the best applications rise to the top. Also, low code development easily allows developers to iterate much more quickly and can aim for higher more.

The Role of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence is certainly making big waves in different businesses, and as this technology improves further, it will find its way in different other uncharted areas. Among those areas is the low code app development, where it comes in quite useful for a wide range of tasks and actions including the integration of various data sources or just making sense of an entire unstructured or semi-structured data.

Artificial Intelligence is quite great at analysing and conducting trial and error. Hence, it won’t be quite long until the usage of AI becomes quite a standard part of the low code app development. A mobile application development company can find ways to reduce the total amount of code that it is using through AI and flagging potential and possible improvements.

Conclusion

It is quite certain that low-code or no-code app development is the future of app development for one of the simplest reasons that it is quite easier as well as faster and efficiently uses time. It actually doesn’t matter whether Android app development services or iPhone app development services are on-board with this particular change or not. This is quite inevitable as this approach is the path of least resistance. Also, as the inherent demand for low code platforms keeps in growing, developers will certainly find themselves to adopt it.

It is quite a great news as it will push the developers of mobile application development services to become the best. Also, there won’t be any time to redoing it to create the same thing, or any room for sloppy code as well as lengthy development processes which makes the mobile apps redundant even before they are actually finished. Hence, low-code or no-code development will certainly lead the future of mobile app development, and mobile app developers certainly have to get on the bandwagon, one way or the other.