[Azure] News for Developers, November 2017

This entry is part 8 of 52 in the series Azure news for Developers

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 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:

  • You can now use¬†Public Certificates (.cer) with your favorite app service instances. This was already possible using ARM templates, but the experience is now a lot easier. (link)
  • The¬†Azure Functions Proxies functionality is now Generally Available. The proxies allow you to: nest multiple functions under one API, mock API’s, monitor and more. (link)
  • Azure Functions are now also available on¬†Linux. For all you penguin loving peeps out there! (link)
  • And also from the Azure Functions team (on fire!): they are now available on¬†IoT Edge. (link)

The app services team keeps track of their updates in blog posts and in this github repo. Check them out!


Visual Studio

Here’s the news coming from the Visual Studio and Visual Studio Team Services teams!

  • Introducing¬†DevOps Projects. This will get you up and running in no time having: a ‘traditional’ web app or a containerized web app, full DevOps pipeline already configured, GitHub support, Application Insights Integration and cloud-powered CI/CD using VSTS. Pretty awesome stuff!
  • In preview;¬†YAML Builds.¬†This allows you to define your build process as code. Why? So you can do reviews, test it and have more control over the process in general. To use this, the preview feature for Build Yaml defintions¬†will need to be enabled on both your profile and account.
  • Another preview feature is¬†Release Gates. This allows you to include continous monitoring data into your release definitions. A number of gates can be set-up and the proceeding of your release will be linked to the health of those gates. (link)
  • Ever wanted to build for macOS or iOS but don’t own an apple device?¬†Hosted Mac agents¬†now allows you to include those builds into your CI/CD pipeline.
  • If you’re into consoles, you might want to try¬†VSTS CLI¬† which is now in public preview.
  • So all of these features might have made you all exited to move to VSTS. The¬†TFS database import service is now Generally Available to help you do just that!
  • You can now use¬†markdown in email notifications.
  • For pull requests you can now use¬†path filters to make your policy specific for a path.
  • VSTS was lacking an option for hosting symbols. You can use this to host symbols for debugging, which allows you to fetch the debug info for every (historic) build. You know, the stuff you’re not supposed to put in production? ūüėȬ†The¬†Symbol Server feature brings you just this!
  • If you do not want to have to install Visual Studio on an agent for testing purposes, you can now use the¬†Visual Studio Test Platform Installer task to automate this action.
  • With wiki pages you can now¬†link workitems to track specific workitems with a wiki page.
  • When you’re VSTS instance is backed by Azure AD, it’s now very simple to invite guests via their e-mail address.

There was lots more this time, so above are just highlights. Check out https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/vsts/release-notes/2017/nov-28-vsts for the complete overview!


Visual Studio

Since there was so much VSTS news, here’s the VS news on it’s own:

  • The continuous delivery tools for Visual Studio now support¬†TFVC style repositories (previously git only). (link)
  • The 15.5 release of VS significantly improves performance for large C# and VB solutions. (link)
  • Formerly known as Mobile Center,¬†Visual Studio App Center was oficially released at Connect(); App Center helps you to get those apps to customers faster and more reliable. (link)
  • Also from Connect();¬†Visual Studio Live Share allows you to share your code with another developer without the need to share your desktop. Remote peer programming anyone?
  • With Visual Studio Connected Environment for AKS, Kubernetes support is coming right into Visual Studio. See below for more AKS.

The Visual Studio blog can be found here: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/visualstudio.



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

  • Introducing the¬†Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). This is a pretty sweet offering, especially for developers. Cause what do you NOT want to right? Right! Manage stuff. And what DO you want? Right again! Control over stuff. AKS brings you the power of the¬†Kubernetes¬†container orchestration platform but takes away your worries about management. (link)
    • The management servers you do not have to create, pay for or manage.
    • You only pay for the worker VMs, the service itself is free.
    • Pretty much all existing tools and stuff for Kubernetes simply works.
    • In short: all the benefits of the Kubernetes container management service without the hassle of maintaining the management service itself.
    • Shorter: supersweet.
  • For customers who use a fixed set of resources every month,¬†Azure Reserved Instances might save a lot of money. By reserving up front the instances you will need, the rates are reduced by as much as
  • Azure¬†Location Based Services makes it easier to use location related API’s within your apps. Examples include map rendering, routing, search, time zones and traffic. (link)

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


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