Azure Mobile Services .NET Adds CORS Support, Better Authentication

Support for cross-origin resource sharing now built in via the ASP.NET Web API.

Microsoft's Azure Mobile Team has an update to its Azure Mobile Services .NET that adds has built-in support for the cross-origin resource sharing specification, as well as improved authentication.

Azure Mobile Services is aimed at mobile developers who want to plug in a cloud-hosted backend to their mobile apps. It uses the ASP.NET Web API and is fully supported in the Visual Studio IDE.

Cross-origin resource sharing is a specification for standardizing cross-domain requests that bypasses JavaScript's same-origin policy. The CORS support in Azure Mobile Services .NET comes by way of support now embedded in the ASP.NET Web API 2.2 Cross-Origin Support 5.2.0 package, which can be downloaded via this Nuget package.

CORS is not enabled by default in Azure Mobile Services .NET, and must be turned on through the Azure management portal or set through the MS_CrossDomainOrigins app setting. Once done, CORS policy can be set at "a per-service, per-controller, or per-action level," blogs Henrik Frystyk Nielsen, principal architect for Microsoft Azure Mobile Services.

Authentication methods have also been improved. Besides authentication via Azure Active Directory, Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft Account, other authentication methods can be customized. Nielsen writes of an example using LinkedIn authentication that uses an OWIN middleware and registration of that package through the LoginProvider.

Azure Active Directory Authentication has been built in from the beginning, but Nielsen writes that it has been improved "using a server-side flow simplifying client authentication significantly."

Details and download instructions are here.

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