[Azure] News for Developers, August 2019

This entry is part 27 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.

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!


New offerings / services

All of the items below are now GA, which means they are stable for production use and officially supported by Microsoft. Although its fine to use preview services for evaluation and development purpose, you’re safest option is to wait with taking things into production until they’re officially “GA-ed”.

  • Azure Dedicated Host lets you run your workloads on a truly dedicated host which does not run stuff for any other Microsoft customer. But as you might expect, this comes at a cost. (link)
  • You can now create dependencies between any pipelines you have in¬†Azure Data Factory. (link)
  • Azure AD authentication integration for¬†Azure Files is now generally available, meaning you can now use AD login for SMB fileshares. (link)
  • Azure Monitor Application Insights Status Monitor (damn, what a product name…) is now GA. This is a PowerShell module which provides codeless instrumentation of .NET web apps hosted with IIS. In other words: you get (some) monitoring without changing your app at all. (link)
  • If the existing storage offerings were not enough for you, performance wise, there’s now¬†Azure Ultra Disk Storage¬†which brings unprecedented storage performance. (link)
  • The Azure Functions offering has been extended with support for the¬†Python programming language, supporting Python 3.6. (link)
  • Also for Azure Functions, the¬†consumption plan offering is now also supporting Linux-based applications. (link)


Visual Studio & Azure DevOps

Here’s the news coming from the Visual Studio and Azure DevOps teams!

For Visual Studio lovers:

  • Visual Studio 2019 version 16.2 is GA and version 16.3 is on preview 2. (link)
  • Visual Studio 2019 for Mac version 8.2 is available and version 8.3 is also on preview 2. (link)
  • VS 2019 16.3 will bring Code Search to the search control (CTRL+Q) and searching within recent items. (link)
  • VS 2019 16.2 is adding a new shell next to the good old Developer Command Prompt: Developer PowerShell! (link)

And these updates were part of sprint 156 in Azure DevOps:

  • You can now use¬†work item rules¬†which are based on the group membership of a user to set read-only and required rules. (link)
  • Need more priorities than what’s in the box? You can now customize the values for ANY system picklist. (link)
  • Mentioning people is now possible not only in the comments, but also in description and other HTML based fields. (link)
  • On popular request: reactions (in the form of emoticons) are now available in the comment section. (link)
  • Is your team on Slack? Be sure to check out the Azure Repos app for Slack. (link)
  • If your builds are running slow due to, for instance, package restores. Check out the new pipeline cache feature (in preview). (link)
  • There have been some improvement to the quite popular¬†query results widget. (link)
  • Comments are now enabled on¬†wiki pages as well. (link)

Changes to Azure DevOps can take up to three weeks to roll out across tenants. The Visual Studio blog can be found here: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/visualstudio. And the Azure DevOps team blog is here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/devops/release-notes.


App Service specific updates

There was just one applicable update coming from the Azure App Services teams:

  • Are you using Easy tables and Easy APIs in your App Service? Note that these will be removed from the Azure portal November 11, 2019. (link)

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


Azure / other

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

  • New Relic¬†(a monitoring solution) now provides an integration for Azure Database for PostgreSQL, MySQL and MariaDB. (link)
  • Azure Cloud Shell now offers a couple of new tools, including Azure Functions CLI and updated versions of Azure PowerShell and Azure CLI. (link)
  • The Redis version of¬†Azure Cache will start being upgraded to version 4.0 soon. (link)
  • When you’re using¬†Azure SignalR Service you might be interested to know that this service now offers¬†EventGrid integration as well. (link)
  • It’s now possible to deploy your¬†Service Fabric services and applications¬†using an ARM template. (link)
  • Also from team Service Fabric: the 6.5 Second Refresh Release is now available. (link)
  • The Azure Cosmos DB .NET SDK v3 is now available for developers. (link)
  • When using¬†Application Insights as monitoring solution, you can now change the default 30 days retention period to up to 730 (!) days. (link)

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



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