[Azure] News for Developers, May 2018

This entry is part 14 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!

This month Microsofts //BUILD conference took place. So here’s an extra special (long) list of new features, of which most have been announced or shown at //BUILD 2018. Are you liking my series? Please share and / or comment below, thanks!


App Service specific updates

These were the updates coming from the Azure App Services teams:

  • App Service now offers support for multi-container apps and has also added support for¬†Linux (in preview). (link)
  • The¬†App Service Diagnostics¬†capabilities are now available for¬†Functions, ASE instances¬†and web apps running¬†Linux. (link)
  • If you’re running SNI-SSL hostnames, be aware of this¬†breaking change coming up! TLS1.2 is now enforced for requests that come in¬†without an¬†SNI header. (link)

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


Visual Studio (+ Team Services)

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

For Visual Studio lovers: Visual Studio 2017 15.7  has been released and 15.8 Preview 2 is out! (link)

And have you seen IntelliCode? This takes IntelliSense to a whole new level, providing you with AI powered suggestions on the things you probably want to do next. This feature is now available for you to try out. (link)

And here’s the news from VSTS:

  • The ability to use¬†release gates to automate checkpoints in your release process is now generally available. (link)
  • Azure DevOps Projects can be created from the Azure portal. It allows you to build a fully complete deployment pipeline in a matter of minutes. This supports AKS (Kubernetes), Service Fabric, WebApps, WebApp for Containers and Virtual Machines. (link)
  • Within Package Management you can now control you can pull upstream packages. (link)
  • The¬†Test Plans¬†section has been upgraded to it’s own brand new Test Plans Hub. (link)
  • The¬†Wiki section now allow you to check for¬†broken pages before you move any page. (link)
  • You can now get¬†notifications¬† when someone¬†bypasses your branch policies. (link)
  • A new visual experience for the¬†release view now give you a clearer picture of what’s happening. (link)
  • Running an¬†agent in Azure is now easier using a Managed Service Identity for authentication. (link)

The Visual Studio blog can be found here: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/visualstudio. And the VSTS team blog is here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/vsts/release-notes/.


Azure / other

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

  • The¬†.NET Core team has released Release Candidate 2.1 to the public. So if you’re running Core, you can now start planning the use of those great new features. (link)
  • Whilst checking that one out, maybe you also want to check the¬†.NET Core 3.0 roadmap¬†as well? (link)
  • Name change! Always fun, right? Well this time it actually makes sense. AKS, previously known as Azure Container Service will be named Azure Kubernetes Service from now on. (link)
  • Are you a¬†GitHub user? They now integrate with App Center to test all of your mobile apps. And even cooler: adaptive cards in outlook.com will soon support you merging pull requests right from within your mailbox! (link)
  • Are you into artificial intelligence or do you want to be? Check out the announcements in the AI platform space: (link)
  • Finding ARM templates a bit tedious to manage? You might want to check out Hashicorp’s Terraform which provides a nice cloud abstraction layer in deployment scenario’s. And there’s now an official provider available (in preview). (link)
  • Currently, Azure CDN endpoints are built on top of third party providers. Not very surprisingly, Microsoft will start offering their own CDN as a provider. (link)
  • Are you using real time communications in your app? Using SignalR maybe? You might want to check out the brand new¬†Azure SignalR¬†fully managed service (in preview). (link)
  • Azure Cognitive Search brings AI capabilities to the world of search, enabling you to use vision services (for instance) within your search experience (find similar to..) (link)


Generally Available (new!)

With this post I will start grouping all “generally available” items into a separate category. All of the items below are now GA, which means they are stable for production use and officially supported by Microsoft.

  • Azure Cosmos DB Bulk Library. Helps you import and migrate large datasets to Cosmos DB. Available in both .NET and Java. (link)
  • Azure Cosmos DB Service Endpoint. Allows you to secure access to your Cosmos DB instance from a specific virtual network in Azure. (link)
  • Azure Maps. Simply integrate maps, search, routing and traffic capabilities in your apps. (link)
  • Azure Application Security Groups allow you to define network security policies based on workloads and applications instead of those old fashioned IP addressed. (link)
  • Azure Durable Functions¬†allow you to build long-running state full functions, for instance for orchestration purposes. (link)
  • Azure Mobile App. This app has been out there for a while now, but is now officially GA! (link)
  • Reliable Actors¬†and¬†Reliable Services on Linux are now GA. (link)
  • Azure Storage Explorer is a must have tool for everyone who has a storage account on Azure. Apparently it was in preview for all this time, but it isn’t any more! (link)
  • Azure Database Migration¬†Service helps you migrate your existing data stores to Azure. (link)
  • SQL Threat Protection and Vulnerability Assessment¬†are ways to improve the security (monitoring) or your critical databases. (link)


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


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