This week, Microsoft Connect(); 2018, one of the companies smaller developer conferences took place in Las Vegas and the internet. All sessions are also available on-demand. During the keynote and other deep-dive sessions, there were some announcements around Azure and Microsoft’s Developer Tools. Below are my highlights for Cloud Application Developers.

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Azure Functions: Consumption plan for Linux (Preview)

Official Announcement

Azure Functions now support Linux serverless hosting on a Consumption plan. Previously deploying to Linux was only supported while running on an App Service plan. This latest enhancement makes possible to deploy Functions targeting the Linux OS using the pay-per-execution model.

Azure Functions: JavaScript for Durable Functions and Python support

Official Announcement

With Durable Functions developers can simplify complex, stateful coordination problems in serverless applications, defining the workflows in code. With this release we are enabling new scenarios for Node.js and JavaScript developers following some development patterns (such as functions chaining, fan-out/fan-in, or human interaction). Azure Functions also now supports Python development in preview using Python3.6 on the cross-platform Functions runtime 2.0.

Azure Kubernetes Service: Virtual Node (Preview)

Official Announcement

Powered by the open source Virtual Kubelet technology, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) virtual node allows you to elastically provision additional pods inside Container Instances that start in seconds.

Service Fabric Mesh: New capabilities and improvements

Official Announcement

The serverless Azure Service Fabric Mesh Fall refresh is now available with improvements such as auto-scale and network and gateway resources, in addition to storage improvements and support for new Windows Server versions.

AI & Machine Learning

Cognitive Services: LUIS Container Support (Preview)

Official Documentation

Use Container support for Language Understanding to deploy LUIS solutions to the edge, on premises and in the cloud. By deploying Cognitive Services,  in containers, customers can analyze information close to the physical world where the data resides, to deliver real-time insights and immersive experiences that are highly responsive and contextually aware.

Cognitive Services | Text Translator custom translation capability

Official Documentation

Custom translation capability in Translator Text Cognitive Service is now Generally Available. With custom translation capability, customers can use human-translated content to build a custom translation systems that can better handle specific writing styles, industry expressions and vocabulary.


API Management: New Consumption Pricing Tier (Preview)

Official Announcement

API Management is now available in a new consumption-based usage plan called Consumption Tier (public preview). Unlike the current dedicated usage model with pre-allocated and isolated underlying resources,  API Management Consumption Tier allows API Management to be used in a serverless fashion, with instant provisioning, automated scaling, built in high availability and pay-per-action pricing.

API Management: Bring your own cache (Preview)

Official Announcement

Bring your own cache feature allows customers to use external Redis-compatible cache with API Management in the Consumption Tier.  Bringing their own cache allows customers to achieve better performance within API Management in a serverless environment because caching is not available in API Management Consumption Tier out of the box.

API Management: More flexible subscriptions (Preview)

Official Announcement

Unlike the current API Management approach which requires subscriptions to be associated with a developer account, the Flexible Subscription feature allows subscriptions without requiring association with a developer. This simplifies subscription management and avoids interruptions in scenarios such as when a developer moves to a different team/company, or when a subscription is shared by multiple developers/teams. Additionally, this feature allows users to better control access by specifying subscription scope to either All APIs or a subset of APIs.


Azure Cosmos DB: Shared throughput minimum reduced

Official Documentation

Entry barrier for Cosmos DB has been reduced for smaller projects, as throughput provisioned at the database level now starts at 400 RU/s per database and can be shared across any or all containers within a database. Throughput can be scaled in increments of 100 RU/s.

Coding & DevOps

.NET Core: .NET Core 2.2 Release and .NET Core 3.0 Public Preview 1

Official Announcement

The new 2.2 release includes further improvements in performance by enabling tiered compilation by default, as well as new features in the ASP.NET Core web stack like hosting model improvements for IIS, Web API improvements. The .NET Core 3 Preview 1 is also now available. In addition to Windows Desktop supports, it is providing the ability to use native UWP controls in WinForms and WPF applications via XAML islands.

Azure DevOps: Azure DevOps Server 2019 (Preview)

Official Announcement

Microsoft announced the first Release Candidate (RC) of Azure DevOps Server 2019 RC1, previously known as Team Foundation Server (TFS). This is the on-premises version of Azure DevOps including dozens of new features and bug fixes across all major product areas, including making available the new fast, clean and customizable navigation, and other user experience improvements across many pages. 

Robin-Manuel Thiel

At daylight, Robin-Manuel talks about new IT trends and development. But at night he turns into a tinker and developer which sometimes leads to insufficient sleep. He loves cool technologies, cross-platform and everything with a power-plug or IP address.

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