Microsoft Announces New Data Platform Tech, Developer Tools

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Azure Databricks powered by Apache Spark and new AI, IoT and machine learning tools are among Microsoft’s new offerings.

This week at Connect 2017, Microsoft’s annual conference for developers, the company’s Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie announced a series of new data platform technologies and cross-platform tools. He also shared what’s next for developers across Microsoft and open source technologies, including how the company is helping them be more efficient across apps and platforms. Guthrie also talked about ways developers can use built-in AI.

“With today’s intelligent cloud, emerging technologies like AI have the potential to change every facet of how we interact with the world,” Guthrie said. “Developers are in the forefront of shaping that potential. Today at Connect(); we’re announcing new tools and services that help developers build applications and services for the AI-driven future, using the platforms, languages and collaboration tools they already know and love.”

The first announcement was Azure DataBricks. It’s a fast and collaborative Apache Spark-based analytics platform designed in collaboration with Spark’s founders. Available in preview, the company said the platform offers one-click set up, streamlined workflows and interactive workspace. It features native integration with Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Storage, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Active Directory and Power BI, and is designed to simplify the creation of data warehouses that allow organizations to do self-serve analytics.

Microsoft also announced it has joined the MariaDB Foundation as a platinum member and an upcoming preview of Azure Database for Maria DB, a preview of Azure Cosmos DB with Apache Cassandra API, and Github Roadmap for Git Virtual File Systems. Microsoft and GitHub announced plans to expand their open source partnership by extending GVFS support.

According to their press release Microsoft also announced several new tools for developers:

Visual Studio App Center General Availability

  • New cloud service for developers to ship higher-quality applications more frequently. Objective-C, Swift, Android Java, Xamarin and React Native developers can use App Center to increase productivity and accelerate application lifecycle, freeing them to spend more time on new features and better user experiences.

Visual Studio Live Share

  • Unique new capability for developers to collaborate in a seamless and secure way with full project context. With this preview, developers can share projects with teammates, or other developers, to edit and debug the same code in their personalized editor or IDE.

Azure DevOps Projects

  • The preview lets developers configure a full DevOps pipeline and connect to Azure Services within five minutes for faster app development and deployment. With just a few clicks in the Azure portal, developers can set up Git repositories, wire up completely automated builds and release pipelines without any prior knowledge of how to do so.

Azure IoT Edge

  • Azure IoT Edge preview availability, enabling AI, advanced analytics and machine learning at the Internet of Things (IoT) edge.

Azure Machine Learning updates

  • Integration with Azure IoT Edge and AI deployment on iOS devices with Core ML, bringing AI everywhere from the cloud to the IoT edge of devices.

Visual Studio Tools for AI

  • Developers and data scientists can develop AI models with all the productivity of Visual Studio, on frameworks and languages. Updates to .NET make it easier for .NET developers to consume AI models from their applications.

Azure SQL Database Machine Learning services preview

  • Support for R models inside SQL Database makes it seamless for data scientists to develop and train models in Azure Machine Learning and deploy those models directly to Azure SQL Database to create predictions at blazing-fast speeds.
Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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