HockeyApp, Azure Mobile Engagement and Visual Studio Application Insights
Started to build a Xamarin iOS app a few months back, added Visual Studio Application Insights as analytics service to the app and setup events stuff. The analytics dashboard doesn't exactly fit what I need but it's good enough.
Then came the news that Application Insights for mobile will be migrated to HockeyApp. And Application Insights will no longer support mobile platforms.
A lot of complaints in that announcement and I did have some confusion as well. Since HockeyApp basically doesn't have any statics functionalities. Wouldn't I lost all the tracking stuff and data?
Anyway, was googling and researching. Found this Microsoft platform and tools for mobile application development White paper, everything became clear after reading relevant sections in there.
Okay, from Microsoft point of view, their vision for your mobile development should require all 3 services they provide:
- Azure Mobile Engagement
- Visual Studio Application Insights
HockeyApp is for testing and distribution.
Azure Mobile Engagement is for analytics and marketing features.
Visual Studio Application Insights is for monitoring service side application if your app has one.
I have finished the migration and am using HockeyApp and Azure Mobile Engagement now, it was not complicate, only a few hours for my simple app.
HockeyApp is pretty much Microsoft's TestFlight comparing to Apple. I don't have much say on it since my simple app doesn't require much DevOps stuff.
Azure Mobile Engagement, on the other hand, interfaces are quite ancient I have to say, at least not matching Azure's style. And it's a different url at the moment outside Azure, I believe it will be emended into Azure someday. The analytics functionalities are more focused on mobile apps and I particularly like "User Path" which is a dynamic diagram showing you how users navigate through you app.
Still just a few days I released the new version, will see how it goes. But with the speed Microsoft is having now on updating Azure products, I think this post will be outdated soon.