Identity and Networking
PaaS + Web and Mobile
This course provides an overview of the 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions exam and the major topics covered within. Use it as a guide to identify gaps in your knowledge and areas to focus as you prep to sit the exam. The course also provides some tips and tricks to maximize your chances of a passing score.
Major topics include:
- An overview of the 70-532 exam and related Microsoft certification paths
- A review of Azure virtual machines and related topics like VM storage and networking
- A review of major Azure data storage options like queues, blobs, tables, SQL Database, Cosmos DB, and others
- A review of Azure Active Directory topic areas and hybrid networking as covered in the exam
- A review of platform-as-a-service options in Azure and their coverage in the exam
Let's review the exam coverage of Platform as a Service Options in Azure, including support for web and mobile applications.
Platform as a Service will represent about 25% to 30% of the overall exam. Major coverage areas include the Azure App Service, which provides hosting and management services for web, mobile, API and logic apps as well as Serverless Azure Functions. Azure Service Fabric, a secure reliable and scalable workload orchestrator, that runs both in Azure and in your own data center environment. And the Azure API Management Service, which enables API governance features like throttling, access key management, self-service developer portals and more.
The Azure App Service is an umbrella product family that provides a developer friendly management and hosting platform for web API, mobile, and workflow based logic apps. It has support for auto-scaling, multiple deployment slots, or environments, continuous integration and deployment and more.
Web apps are traditional applications deployed on a web server and exposed over one of more network ports for public, though typically secure consumption. Azure Web Apps support a number of platforms and technologies, like .NET, Node.js, PHP, Python, and more. In addition, Web Apps have a key feature called WebJobs that allow you to run periodic background tasks for application or data maintenance. Or to trigger programmatic logic based on cloud activity like arrival of Storage Queue messages or updating of blobs. For the exam, know how to create a web app in the portal and from within PowerShell and ARM templates. And also how to deploy code to run in a Web App container. Also, familiarize yourself with the WebJobs API and available trigger and parameter binding options.
Logic Apps are declarative workflows that integrate with a umber of Software as a Service services, both within and outside of Azure, and are triggered by events like for example, new Twitter or Slack posts, data updates in a SQL database table, emails arriving in a designated Office 365 inbox, and much more. Logic app control flow is authored either in a visual designer or in a text based JSON format. Logic Apps also have some connectivity options for EDI, that is Enterprise Data Integration, and EAI, or Enterprise Application Integration scenarios. With the Logic Apps Enterprise Integration Pack. Understand some of the integration options with Logic Apps and think about scenarios where these might be more useful than say, writing your own custom integration code. The exam is likely to touch on these kinds of use cases.
API Apps are very similar to Web Apps. But instead of providing a user interface, they instead expose an HTTP based API for programmatic consumption of service logic. Again, this works across a variety of platforms like .NET, Node.js, Java, and so on.
Finally, Azure App Service has support for building and hosting mobile application back-ends that work with IOS, Android, and other mobile SDKs and platforms. Mobile Apps support simplified creation of data sources with technologies like Azure tables, DocumentDB, and others. Mobile Apps also provide the capability to synchronize data between devices and the cloud for offline application access as well as push notifications for personalization and just-in-time access to updated data. For the exam, I would encourage you to build, say a small mobile app using the Azure Mobile SDKs to familiarize yourself with the major capabilities of that platform.
Azure Service Fabric is a workload orchestration and cluster management service used to host microservices both in Azure and in your own data center environment. These microservices can consist of either, bare EXEs or containerized applications deployed to the cluster. Or they can use the Service Fabric Reliable Services programming model to expose either stateful or stateless services or actors for client consumption. Azure Service Fabric is a big topic that includes many details relevant to both IT pros and developers. For the 532 exam in particular, you'll want to focus on first a broad overview of what Service Fabric is and what problems it's meant to solve. And then focus on the Reliable Services programming model and how you build stateful and stateless applications using those APIs. You'll also want to understand the difference between services and the actor model. And where and why you might choose one over the other.
Azure API Management, is a facade layer used to abstract the implementation of your publicly facing API from related but distinct management details like access control and discovery services. API Management supports features like policy definition for client throttling and quotas. It also has features for subscriber self-service and key management, including API documentation and customized portals and branding. So for the exam, learn how to define simple policies in API Management, and understand the major scenarios for when and why you would do this. Try building a small API and configuring it to use an API Management endpoint. And configure things like response caching, to see how those things work. The more you interact with the services themselves, the better you'll understand them at exam time.
About the Author
Josh Lane is a Microsoft Azure MVP and Azure Trainer and Researcher at Cloud Academy. He’s spent almost twenty years architecting and building enterprise software for companies around the world, in industries as diverse as financial services, insurance, energy, education, and telecom. He loves the challenges that come with designing, building, and running software at scale. Away from the keyboard you'll find him crashing his mountain bike, drumming quasi-rythmically, spending time outdoors with his wife and daughters, or drinking good beer with good friends.