Microsoft’s new tools and services to encourage developers to build more exciting and intelligent apps

Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

Satya Nadella, Scott Guthrie and Harry Shum welcomed thousands of developers to Seattle for Build 2017 — Microsoft’s annual developer conference.

The company announced new Azure data and cloud services to help developers quickly modernise their existing apps, new artificial intelligence (AI) and Azure services that reportedly allow developers to build intelligent apps more easily, with understanding and natural user interaction capabilities, and showcased new data, IoT (Internet of Things) edge and AI services built for a future with an intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.

“In a world of near infinite compute power and an exponential growth in data, we are focused on empowering every developer to build applications for this new era of intelligent cloud and intelligent edge,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.

A vision for more intelligence — from the cloud to the edge

Our world is overloaded with information, every minute, and yet it is in this very information — data — that opportunities and insights abound. To help customers realise these opportunities, Microsoft shared an early peek into innovations it is bringing to bear to help every person and organisation achieve more. In support of this vision Microsoft announced the following:

  1. A preview of Azure IoT Edge, technology that extends the intelligence — and other benefits — of cloud computing to edge devices.
  2. Extensions to the Microsoft Graph to combine insights from the world of work with device insights and contextual awareness of the physical world.
  3. Technology that will allow you to search the real world in the same way you search the digital world, helping to keep your data safe and secure while making you more productive.

The cloud for every developer, and tooling to target any platform and device

Microsoft says it is meeting developers where they are, and helping them be more successful, with new Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio services and tools to help modernise existing applications and quickly build intelligent apps for all major platforms:

    • It introduced Azure Cosmos DB, built from the ground up to power planet-scale cloud services and data-intensive applications — from IoT to AI to mobile — with incredible performance, fault tolerance and support for every type of data, including graph. It is claimed to be the industry’s first globally-distributed, multimodel database service to deliver horizontal scale with guaranteed uptime, throughput, consistency and single-digit millisecond latency at the 99th percentile. Developers get incredible flexibility with the only schema-free database service, with support for popular NoSQL APIs, that also offers five well-defined consistency choices while auto-indexing all your data.
    • New MySQL- and PostgreSQL-managed services that join Azure SQL Database to give developers expanded choice and flexibility on a service platform that delivers high availability and scalability, with minimal downtime, and data retention and recovery.
    • An early preview of Microsoft’s new database migration services, which will allow Oracle and SQL Server customers to more easily move their data and quickly modernise their apps.
    • Azure SQL Database improvements reportedly include a new Managed Instance private preview, which offers customers SQL Server instance-level compatibility and makes it even easier for organisations to migrate existing SQL Server apps to Azure SQL Database. Plus there is general availability of Threat Detection and preview of Graph support.
    • General availability of Visual Studio 2017 for Mac, which enables developers to work seamlessly across Windows and Mac environments with full support for mobile, web and cloud workloads, and previews of Docker tools, Azure Functions and Xamarin IoT support.
    • Support for containers of nearly every type, on every platform, with the general availability of Windows Server Containers support in Azure Service Fabric, with Visual Studio tooling, and a preview of the ability to use Docker Compose support for Service Fabric to deploy containerised apps to Service Fabric — enabling developers to deliver mission-critical, scalable apps and services.
    • DocuSign supports a rapidly growing customer base of 300,000 companies and more than 200 million users across 188 countries. The company has now announced Microsoft Azure is its preferred cloud for global expansion, starting in Canada. DocuSign uses Azure SQL Database to process enormous volumes of digital transactions.

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