[Azure] News for Developers, August 2017

Are you having trouble keeping track of everything that’s going around in Azure? You’re not alone! In an effort to do so myself, I’m starting a monthly series called “News for developers” which is exactly that: a summary of all of the Azure flavored news specifically for software developers. Now this is based on my personal feeds and my personal opinion, so you might miss things or see things which in your opinion do not matter. Feel free to leave and comment below and I’ll see what I can do for the next edition. And honestly, this is more a personal reference than anything else so having actual readers would already be awesome ūüôā Enjoy!


App Service specific updates

Here are some important updates from the world of Azure App Services:

  • The¬†Azure Functions¬†UI now features a tabbed interface. (link)
  • Also from the Azure Functions world, the¬†Tools for Visual Studio 2017 Update 3 are now available. And even better: you get them as part of the update, no manual installation required! (link)
  • Have you tried turning it off and on again? With¬†Proactive Auto Heal, your webapps will auto restart when they’re in a bad state (memory leak for instance). It does this by monitoring the memory and request time. Note that is now is¬†on by default, but you can opt-out. (link)
  • It’s now very easy to choose a Docker image from Azure Container Registry for Continuous Deployment schemes. (link)

The app services team now keeps track of their updates in blog posts and in this github repo!  And you can find a monthly update on their blog as well.



Visual Studio (Team Services)

Everything slows down in summertime, right? Well not in the world of VSTS! These are just the cherries from the huge list of updates!

  • Creating¬†Wiki pages is now in public preview. Wiki’s support markdown (like other pages) and can be very useful to create documentation for instance. (link)
  • Search for and recreating deleted branches. Makes you wonder what the definition of “delete” is, but hey… we’ve all needed this one at one time. (link)
  • A new version of the¬†dotnet (2.x) build task supports authenticated package sources. There were also changes in the behavior when it cannot find a project file (now fails) and to specifying an explicit¬†output path. (link)
  • The marketplace now features an extensions for¬†Ansible support. (link)
  • Running¬†Web Tests from the test hub, you can now capture screenshots of desktop apps. (link)
  • A new¬†work items hub allows filtering work based on: Assigned to me, Following, Mentioned, My activity, Recently created. (link)
  • In a “if this, than that” style you can now create¬†work item rules to automate things even more. (link)
  • w00t! Support for¬†Git Forks is on the way! (link)
  • The new¬†Release Editor experience is now the default for everyone, but can still be disabled by an admin. (link)
  • A release task can now be conditional based on the requirement that you set. (link)
  • The new¬†user management¬†experience helps adding new users, managing users and adding them to Projects and Teams. (link)

Check out https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/articles/news/2017/aug-04-team-services and https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/articles/news/2017/aug-28-team-services for the complete overview!



Here’s all the stuff that didn’t fit into one of the above categories:

  • If you are looking at blockchain (as we are at mStack), check out Microsofts new Coco framework for building enterprise blockchain networks. (link)
  • Visual Studio 2017 Version 15.3 has been officially released. Highlighted features include: (link)
    • A lot of work on the accessibility side, including debugging features and text adornments.
    • Several fixes to provide more stability.
    • Included support for Azure Functions.
    • Broad Azure sign-in support (Government, Sovereign cloud and Azure Stack).
    • Improved Container support.
    • Continous Delivery Tools now included by default.
  • .NET Core 2.0 was also officially released! (link) Highlights include:
    • Live Unit Testing during coding
    • Refering to .NET Core / .NET Standard libraries without the need to add interop packages. They’re still needed but VS includes them automatically now.
    • Supported in¬†Visual Studio for Mac.
  • Talking about¬†Visual Studio for Mac, that team released version 7.1 of their product to the public. (link)
  • Azure Event Grid (in preview)¬†allows the routing of infrastructure and application level events to all kinds of components within Azure. Allows you to hook into events like “someone was added to my Azure subscription”. And it’s serverless! (link)

That’s it for this month, see you next month for another round of Azure news!


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