[Azure] News for Developers, October 2019

This entry is part 29 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 🙂 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”.

  • DNS Private Zones allows you to use internal DNS for services / addresses you do not want to advertise to the world. (link)
  • Standard Load Balancers for AKS are now available, and production grade support is as well. (link)
  • Windows Virtual Desktop is now GA. This is not per se a developer oriented feature, but within a lot of corporate environments you have a chance of running into this, replacing offerings like Citrix. (link)
  • A lot of offerings are in preview, which is probably because of next months Ignite conference. So expect a lot of services to go GA during that time frame! Microsoft Ignite is held November 4 – 8, 2019.


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 16.3 is GA bringing .NET Core 3.0 support and version 16.4 is on preview 2. (link)
  • Visual Studio 2019 for Mac version 8.3 is available and version 8.4 is on preview 1. (link)
  • Visual Studio 2019 16.2 supports debugging JavaScript within the latest developer build of Edge. (link)
  • Are you also annoyed when you have way too many tabs? And you’ve got a bit of screen real estate left? Check out vertical tabs in VS 2019! (link)

And these updates were part of sprint 158 & 159 in Azure DevOps:

  • Within Boards you can now add rollup columns based on custom fields. A rollup column shows a progress bar, or the Total (sum or count). (link)
  • Custom notification settings for workitems allow specifications of which updates you want to have. (link)
  • A new (preview) feature allows you to track where your specific work item is within the release process. I find that pretty awesome 🙂 (link)
  • Administrators can now block commit based on e-mail validation, enabling organization-only commits for instance. (link)
  • A failed stage within a pipeline can now be retried instead of having to retry the entire thing. (link)
  • The Slack and Teams app now support multi-stage pipelines. (link)
  • For Teams there is now an Azure Boards app (link) and an Azure Repos app. (link)
  • Work items can now be imported directly from a CSV file. (link)
  • As a reviewer, you can now mark files reviewed in a PR, to keep track of what you’re already seen. (link)
  • ARM templates can now be deployed onto subscription and management group level, instead of just resource group. (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.


Azure / other

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

  • With an Azure Free account (that’s the one you pay nothing…) you can now use twelve cognitive services… for free! These include Computer Vision, Form Recognizer and Language Understanding among others. (link)
  • WebApps / App Services and Azure Functions can now have app settings which reference a Key Vault value. This means you do not have to go out to Key Vault yourself, but simply use the platform provided app settings which Azure will then fetch for you! (link)
  • When using Azure Data Factory, mapping data flows provide a code-free, serverless environment for ETL. (link)
  • If you’re running SQL Server on Azure VM’s, check out the performance optimized storage configuration capabilities. (link)

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



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