This Toolkit is now deprecated and is now

superseded by Windows Azure Mobile Services

During the early previews of Windows 8, the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows 8 provided developers with the first support for building backend services for Windows Store apps using Windows Azure.  The main areas of feedback we received from mobile developers was that they wanted a turn-key set of services for common functionality such as notifications, auth, and data.   Windows Azure Mobile Services directly reflects this feedback by enabling developers to simply provision, configure, and consume scalable backend services. The downloads for this toolkit will be removed on the week of Feb 1st 2013.  Future improvements will be channeled into Windows Azure Mobile Services rather than this toolkit. 

To get started with Mobile Services, sign up for a Windows Azure account and receive 10 free Mobile Services.


Using the Windows 8 Cloud Application Services Application

You can create a cloud application that manages client channel registrations and can send push notifications using the Windows 8 Cloud Application project template. Several of the samples in this toolkit also take advantage of this application for their backend.

 

Sending Push Notifications

The following steps describe how to use the application to send notifications to registered clients.

  1. Press F5 to launch the application in the compute emulator and open a browser window that shows its start page.

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  2. Click Log On and sign in to the application using the following credentials:

    User name

    admin

    Password *

    Passw0rd!

    * Note that the password uses the zero character and that the user name is case sensitive.

     

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  3. In the application’s home page, click Push Notifications.

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  4. Unless you have executed the application previously, the Push Notifications page should currently display an empty list of clients.

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  5. Switch to your Metro style client application and register the channel. The mechanism used for registration will vary depending on the application. For example, in the PushNotifications sample, the client application includes a Register button for this purpose.
  6. Return to the browser window and refresh the Push Notifications page. Notice that the page now lists the channel that you requested in the Metro app and registered with the web role. Click the Send Notification button located to the right of the row that shows the client’s channel. This will open a popup window with notification templates.

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  7. In the Push Notification popup window, select the Toast notification type from the drop down list and then choose one of its templates from the drop down list next to it, for example, ToastImageAndText01. Fill out the information required by the template, which may include images as well as text.

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  8. Now, press Send and verify that the application successfully delivers the notification request to the Windows Push Notification Services (WNS) by checking the status message shown immediately below the Send Notification button. Once the notification is sent, a toast should appear shortly thereafter with the information entered into the template.

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  9. To test tile notifications, click Send Notification again and choose the Tile notification type from the drop down list, then choose a template from the drop down list next to it, for example, TileWideImageAndText01. Fill out the information required by the template, which may include images as well as text, and then press Send.

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  10. Switch to the Start screen, for example by pressing the Windows key ( ), and verify that, after a brief pause, the application’s tile updates with the information that you entered into the template.

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  11. To test badge notifications, click Send Notification again and choose the Badge notification type from the drop down list, then choose one of the templates, either Int or Glyph, from the drop down list next to it. Fill out the information required by the template and then press Send.

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  12. Switch to the Start screen again and observe how the application’s tile updates to show the badge information that you entered into the template.

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  13. Finally, to test raw notifications, click Send Notification again and choose the Raw notification type from the drop down list, then choose the template Raw. Type the text that you want to send in the Content field, and then press Send.
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  14. Switch to the Metro Application and the Raw notifications field will be updated with text that you entered into the template.
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Note: This concludes the overview of how to send Toast, Tile and Badge notifications using the Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows 8. As an exercise, it is recommended to spend some time exploring the rich set of templates available to each of the different notification types.

 

Uploading Tile Background Images

Windows Azure Blob Storage is a good option to store images that can be used as tile backgrounds for your Windows Notifications.

  1. To manage these images, click the Blobs menu option to display the list of the preloaded tile backgrounds included with the toolkit. To upload a new image, click the Browse button at the bottom of the page:

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  2. Select an image to upload and then click the Open button.

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  3. Back in the Blobs page, click the Upload button. Once the upload has been processed, you will see the recently uploaded image listed in the page.

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  4. To delete an image, click Delete in the row that contains the image that you wish to remove.

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  5. After the server processes the request, verify that the page no longer lists the image that you removed.

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Last edited Jan 21, 2013 at 7:57 PM by nharris, version 9

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