Updated on May 11, 2018
Microsoft Build 2018: App Innovation Highlights
From Monday to Wednesday, //build 2018 conference took place in Seattle. It’s in the nature of Microsoft’s largest and most important developer conference to announce a bunch of cool stuff and updates to their Cloud, AI, and Frontend developer tools and services. Here are my developer centric highlights summarized!
Azure Cosmos DB: Multi-write regions and conflict resolution
You can now also define multiple write-regions for globally distributed Cosmos DB instances in order to boost write performance. Cosmos DB takes care of configurable synchronization and conflict resolution automatically and now also offers its comprehensive SLAs (<10ms response time at the 99th percentile) also for writes.
Azure Cosmos DB: Provisioning throughput on database level
While in the past throughput had to be configured and paid for on collection or table level, you can now share throughput units across a whole database so that multiple collections can share the reserved bandwidth.
Azure App Service: Multi-container support
If you want to benefit from isolated container environments, you can now also deploy multiple containers to a single Azure App Service instance. Great, if you separate your app into microservice but don’t need the massive scale and management capabilities of Service Fabric.
Azure App Service: Linux support for App Service Environment
You can now also choose Linux as the operating system for your App Services that run in an App Service Environment to benefit from a better Node.js performance and smaller container sizes for example.
Azure Functions: Durable Functions
Serverless Azure Functions are designed to get executed for a short time and fall asleep once finished. But what if a Functions calls another service and has to wait some time for its answer? This problem gets solved by Durable Functions. Those can now save their state when sending a request, fall asleep and wake up where you left them once the external task has been completed.
Service Fabric: Azure Service Fabric Mesh announced
Azure Service Fabric Mesh offers the same reliability, mission-critical performance and scale customers get with Service Fabric, but no more overhead of cluster management and patching operations. Serverless for highly available, cloud-native applications with stateful services.
Azure Search: Cognitive Search
By integrating Cognitive Services Vision APIs into Azure Search, it is now capable of also indexing images and letting users search for objects, celebrities, landmarks, and text in images.
AI and Machine Learning
Cognitive Services: Content Moderator Human Review Tool
Content Moderator offers machine-assisted content moderation and human review tool. It now offers text classification to flag potentially adult, racy and offensive content and human review capabilities for text and video moderation insights.
Cognitive Services: Custom Vision Object Recognition
Custom Vision now supports custom object recognition as well. Developers can now use Custom Vision to train models that can recognize the precise location of specific objects in images. In addition, developers can now download Custom Vision models in three formats: TensorFlow, CoreML, and ONNX.
Cognitive Services: Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) speech integration
Beside text, LUIS can now also interpret speech natively and tries to find intends of spoken and written words, which is great for personal voice assistants or dictations.
Visual Studio App Center: GitHub CI Integration
GitHub announced the integration of Visual Studio App Center into their marketplace for Pull Request checks so you can now let App Center build other’s Pull Requests to ensure continuous integration.
Visual Studio for Mac: Update to 7.5
A couple of new cool things like Editorconf support, new .NET Standard project templates for Xamarin, TypeScript and Razor Pages support and a preview for TFVC integration have arrived.
Visual Studio: Hyper-V Android emulator support
Microsoft contributed to the official Google Android emulator which is now compatible with Hyper-V. This enables developers with Hyper-V enabled on their machines to use a hardware accelerated Android emulator, without needing to switch to Intel’s HAXM hypervisor.
.NET Core: .NET Core 3.0 announced
.NET Core 3.0, the next major version of .NET Core, expands supported workloads to Windows desktops and brings Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Forms, and Universal Windows Platform app frameworks to .NET Core.
Xamarin: Update to Xamarin.Forms 3.0
The new major version of Xamarin.Forms is out and stable, and brings new features like a Visual State manager that reacts on window size and orientation changes, a Flex Layout control, Right-To-Left Localization and lots of community contributions.
Xamarin: Live Reload for Xamarin.Forms
Xamarin Live Reload enables you to make changes to your XAML and see them reflected live, without requiring another compile and deploy. This speeds up Xamarin.Forms development and because apps are compiled when using Live Reload, it works with all libraries and third-party controls.
Visual Studio: Live Share
When working remotely, you can now share a full Visual Studio session with all files, outputs and Debug information live with other Visual Studio users that can edit the code simultaneously, which brings remote pair programming to a whole new level.
During the conference, there have been a lot of smaller and bigger announcements across all sections of Microsoft. As this is just a selection what has been most important for me as an App Developer, you should also check out the full list of announcements and pick your highlights.
Also, make sure to watch and review recorded sessions and published content from the conference for diving deeper into all these topics.
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) May 7, 2018