This post was originally published on Fri, May, 2021 at cloudwithchris.com.
If you follow the news around Microsoft, you've probably found it very hard to miss the fact that the Microsoft /Build conference happened this week. Microsoft /Build is their annual developer-focused conference, where they typically announce new features, updates and share their strategy as they evolve technologies.
In this update, I'll provide a summary of the announcements that particularly stood out to me and give you some context around why. Whether that's announcements that excite me, features that I think are crucial to be adopted, etc. It's worth noting that I'll be focusing primarily on the Microsoft Azure Updates here, as that's my typical area of expertise!
I want to call out a point that was special for me about this /Build conference! I held my first presentation at Microsoft /Build, which means I've now presented at Microsoft Inspire, Ignite and Build - a very pleasing achievement. I had the pleasure of presenting alongside Dean Bryen and Carole Rennie Logan, for the UK Community Session: Create friction-free code across all tools and frameworks.
The conference itself was split into several key pillars -
- Increase developer velocity with Microsoft's end-to-end developer platform
- Deliver new intelligent cloud-native apps by harnessing the power of data and AI
- Build cloud native-apps your way and run them anywhere
- Build the next generation of collaborative apps for hybrid work
- Build differentiated SaaS apps with the Microsoft cloud
- Building digital twins, mixed reality and metaverse apps
As you can likely gauge, there's something for everyone in the above list of topics! Announcements ranged from GitHub integrations with Azure, through to more Azure technologies being available through Azure Arc, and many enhancements to existing services. Let's walk through those areas in some further detail. I've done my best to pull together the Azure Updates, Azure Blog Posts and Microsoft /Build sessions based upon those key pillars.
Gabe Monroy announces in this blog post that Azure App Service, Azure Functions, Azure Logic Apps, Azure Event Grid and Azure API Management are all capable of running in a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) conformant Kubernetes cluster or Azure Arc deployment.
Why is this important? You now have the ability to use all of the investments that have been made on Azure for your development needs in on-premises or even in AWS or GCP. This gives you the ability to have a consistent target environment across several physical environments, making it easier than ever to operate in a hybrid or multi-cloud environment. Of course, there's still a need for the Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, as you continue to give up a certain level of management responsibility there. As you use Azure Arc / Kubernetes as a deployment target, you'll be picking up some additional management responsibilities in exchange for the ability to run your cloud-native applications anywhere.
This could open up some incredible hybrid scenarios where certain applications are unable to move directly to the cloud. Whether that's for compliance reasons, dependencies or organizational policy - You now have the option to have a consistent development environment on your terms.
- Public preview: Run App Service on Kubernetes or anywhere with Azure Arc
- Public preview: Run Event Grid on Kubernetes in Azure or anywhere with Azure Arc
- General availability: Logic Apps with new hosting options
- Event Hubs Premium now available in public preview
- Public preview: Introducing new Durable Functions storage provider options
- PowerShell support in Durable Functions is now generally available
- General availability: Azure RBAC for Kubernetes Authorization in AKS
- General availability: Encryption at host support in AKS
- Preview: AKS support for FIPS compliant nodes
- AKS support for regulated industries
- Public preview: Kubernetes 1.21 support in AKS
- Public preview: AKS support for containerd for Windows server containers
- Public preview: Cluster auto-upgrade now respects planned maintenance windows
- Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI is now generally available
- Public preview: Native support for WebSocket APIs in Azure API Management
- General availability: Enabling IBM WebSphere Application Server on Azure Virtual Machines
- General availability: Run Enterprise Java with Red Hat JBoss EAP for Azure Virtual Machines
- Build cloud-native applications that run anywhere
- Insights into successful Cloud Native projects (with Azure customers representing different industries)
- Ask the Experts: Modernize applications using containers
- How to build cloud-native solutions
- Modernize applications using containers
- How to Monitor Your AKS Microservices With Datadog
- Microservices made easy with Dapr
- Hybrid is here to stay
- Ask the Experts: Build consistent hybrid and multicloud applications with Azure Arc
- Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI (AKS-HCI): An Azure Arc enabled turnkey App Platform for modern .NET apps
- Ask the Experts: Learn why Azure is the cloud for Open Source developers
- Ask the Java at Microsoft Experts
- Accelerating enterprise Java workloads on Azure
- Run Open Source Applications your way with Microsoft Azure
- Run Linux web apps easily and securely on Azure App Service
- .NET 6 deep dive; what's new and what's coming
- Ask the Experts: The future of modern application development with .NET
- Serverless: Event-driven application development
- Ask the Experts: Serverless: Event-driven application development
- Logic Apps: Powering the future of Integration
- Build your first web app with Blazor & Web Assembly
- Mark Russinovich on Azure innovation and more!
- Building Well-Architected secure applications with Azure
- Transforming Minecraft Dungeons into a Great Mobile Cloud Gaming Experience
Join Amanda Silver, Donovan Brown and Julie Strauss - as they talk through building productively with tools like Visual Studio, GitHub, Power Apps and Azure.
- Introducing Developer Velocity Lab to improve developers’ work and well-being
- The Microsoft Build of OpenJDK is now generally available
- Public preview: Easily onboard Application Insights for Java apps on Azure App Services
- Azure Security Center integration with GitHub Actions, in public preview
- Public preview: Export Azure Monitor logs to multiple destinations
- Public preview: Save and share log analytics queries with new query packs in Azure Monitor
- Public preview: Log Analytics workspace insights from Azure Monitor
- App Service Managed Certificates now generally available
- Supercharging Developer Velocity
- Core tools for a dev career: an introduction to Visual Studio Code and GitHub
- Empowering developers with powerful tooling and enabling frictionless app adoption
- Fusion Development 101: Professional Developer Essentials
- Extending low code platforms with Azure
- Power Fx: the Programming Language for Low Code and what it means for Developers
- The new Developer experience – Fusion Teams; Low Code tools and more
- Managing Technical Debt with Feature Flags
- Automated Database Testing: How Flyway, GitHub Actions and Spawn solve Azure migration challenges
- Scaling DevSecOps with GitHub and Azure
- Ask the Experts: Scaling DevSecOps with GitHub and Azure
- Ask the Experts: Infra as Code - Bicep
- How to get end-to-end visibility across the full application development lifecycle for cloud-native applications in Azure.
- Increase IT efficiency with new Azure Monitor capabilities
- You got your Windows on my Linux – Windows Subsystem for Linux
- Increase your .NET Productivity with Visual Studio
- The future of modern application development with .NET
- What's new in Visual Studio Code
Charles Lamana and Justin Graham discuss how Power Platform, Dynamics 365, Azure, and Teams, can help developers quickly build modern SaaS apps in the cloud. They also explore how Microsoft's industry-clouds may be able to help accelerate industry-specific components as well.
- Application Authentication in the Microsoft Identity platform
- Build secure B2C applications with Azure AD External Identities
- Ask the Experts: Build secure B2C applications with Azure AD External Identities
- Ask the Experts: Build cloud native apps of any scale with Azure Cosmos DB
- Build serverless, full stack applications with Azure Static Web Apps and Azure SQL Database
- Securely managing cloud applications
- Build Zero Trust ready applications starting with the Microsoft identity platform
Jeffrey Teper, Yina Arenas, Mary Anne Noskowski and Archana Saseetharan talk through the latest on Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Graph, and Windows and how you can use these new tools and surfaces to build the next generation of productivity and collaboration experiences for hybrid work.
- Azure Updates
- Azure Communication Services with Microsoft Teams interoperability
- Learn how to build exciting apps across meetings, chats, and channels within or outside Microsoft Teams
- Develop apps with the Microsoft Graph Toolkit
- Three new ways to enrich your productivity apps with Microsoft Graph tools and data
- Down with sign-ups, just sign-in!
- Enlighten your Windows app with Microsoft Graph
- Build great discovery & collaboration apps for Microsoft 365 with new Microsoft Graph connector & Adaptive Card capabilities.
John 'JG' Chirapurath posted a blog post which summarizes the key announcements, including the General Availability announcement of Azure CosmosDB Serverless and Azure CosmosDB role-based access control, preview announcements of Azure CosmosDB Integrated Cache and Always Encrypted for Azure CosmosDB, the preview announcement of Azure SQL Database's Ledger capability, Azure Synapse Link for Microsoft Dataverse, expanding the Azure CosmosDB Free Tier and several Azure Database for MySQL and PostgreSQL announcements. As well as the data platform announcements, there were interesting announcements in the Artificial Intelligence space, specifically around Azure Applied AI Services. These combine Azure Cognitive Services with task-specific logic, to help accelerate achieving business goals.
- Public preview: Azure Database for PostgreSQL – Hyperscale (Citus) support for PostgreSQL 12 and 13
- Public preview: Azure Database for PostgreSQL – Hyperscale (Citus) columnar compression
- Azure Database for PostgreSQL – Flexible Server: Azure Free offer coming soon
- Public preview: Azure Database for PostgreSQL – Hyperscale (Citus) support for Citus 10
- Azure Database for MySQL – Flexible Server: Azure Free offer coming soon
- Expanded Azure Cosmos DB free tier now in general availability
- Azure Cosmos DB serverless now in general availability
- Azure Cosmos DB integrated cache now in public preview
- Azure Cosmos DB Linux emulator in public preview
- Cost-optimized diagnostics feature for Azure Cosmos DB in public preview
- Azure Cosmos DB role-based access control (RBAC) now in general availability
- Always Encrypted for Azure Cosmos DB in public preview
- Partial document update for Azure Cosmos DB in private preview
- Azure Machine Learning general availability announcements /Build, May 2021
- Azure Machine Learning Managed Online and Batch Endpoints now in public preview /Build 2021
- General availability: Azure Applied AI Services
- Azure Applied AI Services public preview updates for Build 2021
- General availability: Azure Cognitive Services Translator Document Translation feature
- Public preview: Azure Cognitive Services Text Analytics Adds Question Answering Feature
- General availability: Azure Cognitive Services Text Analytics for Health
- Azure Machine Learning public preview announcement /Build, May 2021
- General availability: Improved Python support in Visual Studio Code with Pylance
- Public preview: Azure Confidential Ledger
- Azure SQL Database ledger available in public preview
- Spot Virtual Machines are now generally available on Azure Databricks
- Public preview: Scan and view lineage of data stored in Hive Metastore Database using Azure Purview
- Azure Storage Blob inventory public preview is now available in all public regions
- Harness the power of data in your applications with Azure
- Broadening Confidential Computing Support across Azure
- Securely managing sensitive data in the cloud
- How to use Azure Confidential Computing using Intel SGX to protect apps and solutions in the cloud
- Signal Customer Story
- Ask the Experts: Build intelligent applications infused with world-class AI
- Ask the Experts: Azure Cognitive Search and its semantic capabilities
- Add the power of search to your Microsoft Azure environment
Sam George discussed the possibilities of connected environments by combining technology with complex environments, such as a retail-store to enhance the shopping experience, converging the physical and digital worlds. Sam discusses that Metaverse apps are the culmination of the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge working in harmony together—at their foundation is digital twins. Key technologies in this category are Digital Twins, Internet of Things (IoT), Azure Maps, Azure Synapse Analytics, Microsoft Power Platform and Microsoft Mesh & Hololens.
- Azure Updates
- Mixed Reality Application Development: Uncovering the right tools for the right job to enable MR scenarios
- Ask the Experts: Welcome to Mixed Reality: Tools & strategies to approach MR development
- Building Digital Twins, Mixed Reality and Metaverse Apps
- Ask the Experts: Building Digital Twins, Mixed Reality and Metaverse Apps
- Connect IoT data to HoloLens 2 with Azure Digital Twins and Unity
- Build Secured IoT Solutions for Azure Sphere with IoT Hub
- Dataverse for Developers
- Azure Maps Creator: Leverage Indoor Mapping Capabilities into your Apps
By no means am I expecting you to read every single blog article, azure update, or watch the videos end-to-end. I aimed to pull a variety of resources together so that you can go through the list and cherry-pick the areas that are of most interest for you.
For me, the key highlights are the investment in cloud-native running anywhere, as well as the data platform and artificial intelligence enhancements. I'm excited to try deploying App Service onto my own local machine, and to further enhance my usage of Azure CosmosDB (e.g. introducing caching, leveraging data-plane RBAC, trying partial document updates and using the CosmosDB Emulator from my MacBook Pro).
There are plenty of updates, no matter what area you are interested in. I'd love for you to take a look at the session from Dean, Carole and I and for you to get on touch on Twitter, @reddobowen on the topics that most interested you. What will you be learning over the coming weeks?
So that's it for this blog post, and until the next one - Thanks for reading - and bye for now!