Microsoft’s annual Build conference for developers kicked off on Tuesday May 24 as a virtual event with the usual deluge of product announcements.
New previews for Azure OpenAI Service, AI dashboards in Azure Machine Learning and a web application routing add-in for Azure Kubernetes Service were among the biggest Azure announcements from Microsoft during this year’s Build conference aimed at developers.
Below are spotlights on the general availability release milestones of 10 of the most interesting Microsoft technologies for IT pros and developers in Azure.
1. Single-Node Azure Stack HCI
Azure Stack HCI is a line of partner-built hardware products that organizations can use to run Azure services along with Azure VM workloads. The new single-node configuration is ideal for businesses with smaller budgets, little physical space or lower processing needs overall.
2. Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform
The Intelligent Data Platform promises to “fully integrate databases, analytics and governance,” according to Azure Data chief Rohan Kumar in a blog post.
The platform is meant to speed up the process of turning data from disparate sources into actionable intelligence.
3. Azure Container Apps
The general availability of Azure Container Apps, Microsoft’s serverless container service, means it just got a little easier to create microservice applications without a lot of infrastructure overhead. Auto-scaling is built in, as well as support for myriad application types. Developers can write code using the languages they’re already familiar with.
4. .NET MAUI
Microsoft has touted .NET MAUI (short for multi-platform app UI) as the cross-platform .NET model of developers’ dreams — essentially, the next evolution of Xamarin.Forms.
Originally expected to launch last November, .NET MAUI is finally seeing daylight, bringing compatibilities with Blazor and C#.
5. Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio Code
Developers now have a new tool in their arsenal for quickly spinning up Microsoft Teams apps for Web and mobile.
The Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio Code “saves developers time by automating configuration across portals, cloud resource templates and continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) workflows,” according to Microsoft.
6. Azure DCsv3 VMs with Intel Software Guard Extensions
The DVsv3 series of Azure virtual machines (VMs) is designed specifically to keep data in the public cloud secure. The integration with Intel Software Guard Extensions means that users can take advantage of “application-level isolation for granular security control,” Microsoft said back in November, when it was still in the public preview stage.
7. Azure Communication Services Mobile UI Library
The APIs in Microsoft’s Azure Communication Services umbrella are designed for developers of interactive or collaborative apps that work with Microsoft Teams. The now-available Mobile UI Library delivers ready-made UI components for mobile app developers to reduce development time.
8. Azure App Service Landing Zone Accelerator
The Accelerator combines documentation and automation to make it “easier to move enterprise apps from an on-premises environment to Azure App Service,” says Microsoft.
9. Service Bus Explorer in Azure Portal
According to Microsoft, Azure Portal users can now “specify a Service Bus namespace and then send messages to a queue or topic in that namespace, as well as receive or peek at messages from a queue or a subscription.”
10. MySQL Flexible Server ‘Business Critical’ Tier
The old “Memory Optimized” tier for the Azure Database for MySQL Flexible Server product is no more. As of Build, it’s now called the “Business Critical” tier. New capabilities include “1.5x faster performance than Azure Database for MySQL Single Server deployment.”
Addition: Azure Spring Apps
This one isn’t a general availability launch, but a rebrand. Microsoft is renaming Azure Spring Cloud, a managed service that it jointly developed with VMware, to Azure Spring Apps. The new name sets the stage for Microsoft to expand on the family of “Spring”-branded solutions.