What is Azure App Service?

App Service is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering of Microsoft Azure. Create web and mobile apps for any platform or device. Integrate your apps with SaaS solutions, connect with on-premises applications, and automate your business processes. Azure runs your apps on fully managed virtual machines (VMs), with your choice of shared VM resources or dedicated VMs.

App Service includes the web and mobile capabilities that we previously delivered separately as Azure Websites and Azure Mobile Services. It also includes new capabilities for automating business processes and hosting cloud APIs. As a single integrated service, App Service lets you compose various components -- websites, mobile app back ends, RESTful APIs, and business processes -- into a single solution.

The following 4-minute video provides a brief explanation of how App Service relates to earlier Azure offerings and what's new in it.

Why use App Service?

Here are some key features and capabilities of App Service:

App types in App Service

App Service offers several app types, each of which is intended to host a specific workload:

  • Web Apps - For hosting websites and web applications.
  • Mobile Apps For hosting mobile app back ends.
  • API Apps - For hosting RESTful APIs.
  • Logic Apps - For automating business processes and integrating systems and data across clouds without writing code.

The word app here refers to the hosting resources dedicated to running a workload. Taking “web app” as an example, you’re probably accustomed to thinking of a web app as both the compute resources and application code that together deliver functionality to a browser. But in App Service a web app is the compute resources that Azure provides for hosting your application code.

Your application may be composed of multiple App Service apps of different kinds. For example If your application is composed of a web front end and a RESTful API back end you could:

  • Deploy both (front end and api) to a single web app
  • Deploy your front-end code to a web app and your back-end code to an API app.

App Service plans

App Service plans represent the collection of physical resources used to host your apps.

App Service plans define:

  • Region (West US, East US, etc.)
  • Scale count (one, two, three instances, etc.)
  • Instance size (Small, Medium, Large)
  • SKU (Free, Shared, Basic, Standard, Premium)

All applications assigned to an App Service plan share the resources defined by it allowing you to save cost when hosting multiple apps.

Your App Service plan can scale from Free and Shared SKUs to Basic, Standard, and Premium SKUs giving you access to more resources and features along the way. Once your App Service Plan is set to Basic or higher you can also control the size and scale count of the VMs.

The SKU and Scale of the App Service plan determines the cost and not the number of apps hosted in it.

If you need more scalability and network isolation, you can run your apps in an App Service Environment.

Pricing

For information about how much App Service costs, see App Service Pricing.

Test-drive App Service

Create a sample web app, mobile app, or logic app and play with it for one hour, with no credit card required, no commitments, no hassles.

Or open a free Azure account, and try one of our getting-started tutorials: