Maybe you have already heard about the Azure Mobile App at the Build Conference last year in May 2017, but the app has since matured. Therefore, I think it is time for me to write about it. The Azure Mobile App lets you stay connected to Azure resources when you are on the constant move.
The app is available for Android and for IOS. I am currently using a Samsung S8+, and will be showing you how to install and do some basic things within the app.
First thing first is to go to the Play Store or App Store and search for Microsoft Azure.
Figure 1: Play Store - Microsoft Azure App
Figure 2: App Store - Microsoft Azure App
If you do not have an Azure account that is, OK, because Microsoft Azure will give you $200 in Azure Credits to be used within the first 30 days of sign-up and 12 months of select free services. You can activate your free Azure account and read more about it here.
If you already have an Azure Account get logged into the Azure App by providing your credentials.
Figure 3: Microsoft Azure App - Login Screen
Once you have logged into the Azure App, it is now time to begin exploring the mobile experience. The first screen you will notice is the Dashboard, this screen allows you to find all your resources, but do keep in mind to use the handy Filter option to organize what resource you are looking for.
Figure 4: Microsoft Azure App - Dashboard Screen
The number one reason to download the Microsoft Azure app is to be able to control the resources with a few clicks. We are able to click on the VM of choice and see everything about it.
Figure 5: Microsoft Azure App - VM Screen
As you can see in the image or even on your own phone that you can actually Start the VM. Let’s start the VM and see what happens.
Figure 6: Microsoft Azure App - VM Start Screen
As you can see the app will give you a warning/verification to make sure that you really want to Start this virtual machine.
Figure 7: Microsoft Azure App - Running VM Screen
Next time someone calls you telling you that the CPU is high on X machine, you can simply check its health on the mobile app and Stop or Restart the VM.
But wait, there’s more. What if I told you that you are able to connect to the Windows VM from your phone. You will first have to down Microsoft Remote Desktop App
Figure 8: Microsoft Remote Desktop
You simply click on the Connect icon and provide your credentials. Now you are connected to the VM of choice.
Figure 9: Microsoft Azure - VM Screen -Connect Figure 10: Microsoft Remote Desktop - Credentials
Figure 11: Microsoft Remote Desktop - RDP
This is definitely not the greatest option when compared to using a bigger screen, but it does allow you to quickly connect to a resource and fix or see the issue until you can get to another device.
Another great feature I like is the ability to execute code with the mobile app using Cloud Shell. Using Cloud Shell we are now able to execute Bash and PowerShell to take full control of the Azure Resources. The scripts are stored on CloudDrive to use across the app and the portal. You will have to go back to the Dashboard screen and locate the Cloud Shell icon on the bottom right of the screen.
Figure 12: Microsoft Azure App - Dashboard Screen
You simply click on the icon and you will be presented with the Cloud Shell – PowerShell screen at first, but you can click the icon above to switch to bash if needed. Depending on how your VM is configured, you can control your resources with predefined scripts that are located in the CloudDrive.
Figure 13: Figure 14: Cloud Shell - PowerShell Figure 14: Cloud Shell - BASH
What else can you currently do with the Azure Mobile App?
Favorites tab allows you to star the most important resources across subscriptions and use the Favorite tab for easy access in the future.
Resource Sharing is another feature that allows you to quickly send screenshots to your coworkers.
Azure Health Tracking allows you to scan the QR code on the portal and track the incidents on your phone.
The mobile app doesn’t replace the Portal, but it does provide another key tool to quickly identify issues with any Azure Resources. Test it out for yourself and let me know what you think.