ScreenDy utilizes Azure’s compatibility with Apache Tomcat and Java to help developers make professional apps quickly and easily, without having to learn new skills.
ScreenDy is a San Francisco based startup transforming application publishing, allowing any developer to create customized native mobile apps for devices running Windows Phone, Apple iOS or Android operating systems. ScreenDy is a cloud studio enabling web developers to build apps without learning new languages or codes - reinventing custom native mobile app creation. The company was founded with the vision of creating a cloud service that would make it possible for any developer, even those not skilled in web technologies like HTML or CSS, to create customized, cross-platform, native, mobile apps quickly and easily. With processes that take place entirely in the cloud -- design, development, compilation, staging, and testing –- ScreenDy is completely different from local, on premises shops, where you need emulators for each platform and cross-platform development becomes quite complicated. ScreenDy’s cloud platform improves quality and usability when creating custom and native mobile apps. The user simply needs to create their own design, and everything they need is on the cloud - including installing add-ons from the ScreenDy marketplace.
Given its complex, distributed platform, ScreenDy’s previous hosting service could not provide the high quality user experience they needed. So ScreenDy began the process of transitioning their platform to Microsoft Azure.
Azure’s compatibility with open source software enhanced the pull of Azure explains Khalid Tabyaoui, VP of Business Development at ScreenDy. “Ours is a distributed platform and includes many technologies: HTML5/AngularJS for developers on the front-end and Native code on devices (.NET / Objective C & Java for Android) with complicated computation servers running Apache Tomcat and Java, and MySQL databases on the back-end. All these programs have to communicate with each other constantly and Azure has allowed everything to run smoothly and efficiently. There is really nothing better for operational or developer friendliness.”
“We have a very complex architecture,” adds Alaoui. “We wanted to migrate our backend without having to change the code or the technology used, and Microsoft showed us how to do it with Azure.”
Although initially concerned that ScreenDy’s open-source platform would make the migration difficult, Microsoft Azure made it easy and smooth says Alaoui. “We found the platform was ready to welcome our workload. The major benefit we see from Azure is scalability. As our platform succeeds, we could quickly have hundreds of thousands of users. With Azure, we take comfort in knowing this is not an issue. We can scale and add new machines very quickly to handle a user community of any size.”
Tabyaoui adds, “The scalability and growth can be very fast. Our user community is not highly skilled in mobile development, but Azure gives them the feeling that they are experts: no matter how many of them there are.”
Alaoui continues, “Two years ago, when we started using Azure, there were a lot of security points Azure was making. Just to put a small website on it, all ports were blocked and we were looking for a way to access Azure from the outside. It took us a week to try to understand this problem. All this information is now easily accessible in the Azure manager. Enhancing the user experience on the Azure console has completely changed our perception of how easy it is to use Azure.”
The Azure migration has enabled ScreenDy to provide scalability, support of open source technologies, a good user experience, and quality service. Switching to Azure allowed ScreenDy to transform their product into an award-winning platform, taking home the 2015 MIT FE Innovation Award and the Red Herring Asia 100 Award.
As a member of the BizSpark program, Microsoft provided ScreenDy with the necessary tools to begin their transformation and ascension, “BizSpark was a huge opportunity for us to test the cloud without any charge,” explains Mehdi Alaoui, CEO of ScreenDy. “It helped us take the first step. It’s very important for a startup to have this kind of opportunity.” After initially believing the transition to Azure would be arduous, ScreenDy found the Azure platform supported their diverse product says Alaoui, “The support and all the necessary tools were available to make the migration. As a product, Azure has gone through big changes over the last two years. The interface is now much simpler. All the documentation is really there and support teams are ready to help you make the migration.”
ScreenDy’s combination of an excellent product and new business enterprises have allowed them to overcome difficulties and thrive in the startup industry. “Now, backed by Azure, we feel confident about ScreenDy’s future, especially knowing that our data is always protected,” says Tabyaoui.
Microsoft is helping these startups succeed through its BizSpark program. To join or see other startup stories, visit us at our website here. To listen to our startups, check out these podcasts on devradio here.
About BizSpark: Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps startups succeed by giving free access to Microsoft Azure cloud services, software and support. BizSpark members receive up to $750 per month of free Microsoft Azure cloud services for 3 years: that’s $150 per month each for up to 5 developers. Azure works with Linux and open-source technologies such as Ruby, Python, Java and PHP. BizSpark is available to startups that are privately held, less than 5-years-old and earn less than $1M in annual revenue.