Create an Android app

Overview

This tutorial shows you how to add a cloud-based backend service to an Android mobile app by using an Azure mobile app backend. You will create both a new mobile app backend and a simple Todo list Android app that stores app data in Azure.

Completing this tutorial is a prerequisite for all other Android tutorials about using the Mobile Apps feature in Azure App Service.

Prerequisites

To complete this tutorial, you need the following:

  • Android Developer Tools, which includes the Android Studio integrated development environment, and the latest Android platform.
  • Azure Mobile Android SDK, which is automatically referenced as part of the quickstart project you download.
  • An active Azure account.

Create a new Azure mobile app backend

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Click New.

  3. In the search box, type Mobile Apps.

    Azure portal with Mobile Apps Quickstart highlighted

  4. In the results list, select Mobile Apps Quickstart, and then select Create.

  5. Under Resource Group, select an existing resource group or create a new one (using the same name as your app).

  6. Click Create. Wait a few minutes for the service to be deployed successfully before proceeding.

Configure the server project

  1. Click the App Services button, select your Mobile Apps back end, select Quickstart, and then select your client platform (iOS, Android, Xamarin, Cordova).

    Azure portal with Mobile Apps Quickstart highlighted

  2. If a database connection is not configured, create one by doing the following:

    Azure portal with Mobile Apps Connect to database

    a. Create a new SQL database and server.

    Azure portal with Mobile Apps create new database and server

    b. Wait until the data connection is successfully created.

    Azure portal notification of successful creation of data connection

    c. Data connection must be successful.

    Azure portal notification, "You already have a data connection"

  3. Under 2. Create a table API, select Node.js for Backend language.

  4. Accept the acknowledgment, and then select Create TodoItem table.
    This action creates a new to-do item table in your database.

    Important

    Switching an existing back end to Node.js overwrites all contents. To create a .NET back end instead, see Work with the .NET back-end server SDK for Mobile Apps.

Download and run the Android app

  1. Visit the Azure Portal. Click Browse All > Mobile Apps > the backend that you just created. In the mobile app settings, click Quickstart > Android). Under Configure your client application, click Download. This downloads a complete Android project for an app pre-configured to connect to your backend.
  2. Open the project using Android Studio, using Import project (Eclipse ADT, Gradle, etc.). Make sure you make this import selection to avoid any JDK errors.
  3. Press the Run 'app' button to build the project and start the app in the Android simulator.
  4. In the app, type meaningful text, such as Complete the tutorial and then click the 'Add' button. This sends a POST request to the Azure backend you deployed earlier. The backend inserts data from the request is into the TodoItem SQL table, and returns information about the newly stored items back to the mobile app. The mobile app displays this data in the list.