Author : All posts by ilikesql

04

Oct

Microsoft joins LOT Network, helping protect developers against patent assertions

We are pleased to announce that Microsoft is joining the LOT Network, a growing, non-profit community of companies that is helping to lead the way toward addressing the patent troll problem, an issue that impacts businesses of all sizes.

Microsoft has seen this problem firsthand. We’ve faced hundreds of meritless patent assertions and lawsuits over the years, and we want to do more to help others dealing with this issue. In most cases, the opportunists behind these assertions were not involved in the research and development of the ideas that came to be embodied in patents. Many do not even understand the technical concepts described in them. In the most extreme cases, we’ve seen mass mailings and campaigns to extract value from small businesses who are not equipped to understand patents. Although these problems are less acute in the US today than in the past, in part because of changes in the law, the challenge persists for many businesses. Entrepreneur magazine cited a recent study showing that 40 percent of small companies involved in patent litigation reported “significant operational impact” from those suits, which some described as a “death knell.”

What does all of this mean for you if you’re

Share

03

Oct

SSMS 18.0 public preview released
SSMS 18.0 public preview released

We are very excited to announce the public preview of SQL Server Management Studio 18.0. SSMS has been ported to the VS 2017 Isolated Shell, which brings with it many improvements to look and feel and accessibility. This release expands platform support to keep up with the announcements at Microsoft Ignite last week and includes bug fixes and feature updates across the board.

Download your copy of SSMS 18 public preview today.

New platform and feature support Support for SQL 2019 Support for Azure SQL Managed Instance Azure SQL Database support SLO/Edition Support for updated Azure SQL SKUs Support for Always Encrypted with secure enclaves UTF-8 support on collation dialog Shell improvements SSMS is based on the new VS 2017 Isolated Shell. This means a modern shell that unlocks all the accessibility features from both SSMS and VS 2017 across SSDT, DTA, Profiler, etc. Smaller download size (~400 MB). This is less than half of what SSMS 17.x is. SSMS can be installed in a custom folder. Currently, this is only available on the command line setup. Pass the extra argument to SSMS-Setup-ENU.exe, SSMSInstallRoot = C:MyFolder High DPI enabled by default. Better support for

Share

03

Oct

Deep Learning Without Labels
Deep Learning Without Labels

Announcing new open source contributions to the Apache Spark community for creating deep, distributed, object detectors – without a single human-generated label

This post is authored by members of the Microsoft ML for Apache Spark Team – Mark Hamilton, Minsoo Thigpen,
Abhiram Eswaran, Ari Green, Courtney Cochrane, Janhavi Suresh Mahajan, Karthik Rajendran, Sudarshan Raghunathan, and Anand Raman.

In today’s day and age, if data is the new oil, labelled data is the new gold.

Here at Microsoft, we often spend a lot of our time thinking about “Big Data” issues, because these are the easiest to solve with deep learning. However, we often overlook the much more ubiquitous and difficult problems that have little to no data to train with. In this work we will show how, even without any data, one can create an object detector for almost anything found on the web. This effectively bypasses the costly and resource intensive processes of curating datasets and hiring human labelers, allowing you to jump directly to intelligent models for classification and object detection completely in sillico.

We apply this technique to help monitor and protect the endangered population of snow leopards.

This week at the Spark + AI Summit in

Share

03

Oct

“Snip Insights” – An Open Source Cross-Platform AI Tool for Intelligent Screen Capture

This post is authored by Tara Shankar Jana, Senior Technical Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft.

What if we could infuse AI into the everyday tools we use, to delight everyday users? With just a little bit of creativity – and the power of the Microsoft AI platform behind us – it’s now become easier than ever to create AI-enabled apps that can wow users.

Introducing Snip Insights!

An open source cross-platform AI tool for intelligent screen capture, Snip Insights is a step change in terms of how users can generate insights from their screen captures. The initial prototype of Snip Insights, built for Windows OS and released at Microsoft Build 2018 in May, was created by Microsoft Garage interns based out of Vancouver, Canada.

Our team at Microsoft AI Lab, in collaboration with the Microsoft AI CTO team, took Snip Insights to the next level by giving the tool an intuitive new user interface, adding cross-platform support (for MacOS, Linux, and Windows), and offering free download and usage under the MSA license.

Snip Insights taps into Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services APIs and helps increase user productivity by automatically providing them with intelligent insights on their screen captures.

Solution Overview

Share

03

Oct

One month retirement notice: Access Control Service
One month retirement notice: Access Control Service

Access Control Service is scheduled to be retired on November 7, 2018 with an extension option to February 4, 2019

The Access Control Service, otherwise known as ACS, is officially being retired. Since the ACS retirement announcement last year, many customers have reached out for our guidance and have completed their migration. Some customers communicated that their migration has started but will not complete before the deadline. We have decided to offer an extension to February 4, 2019. Failure to opt into the extension will result in your namespace being turned off on November 7, 2018. At that point, all requests to the namespace will fail.

What action is required?

If you are using ACS, you will need a migration strategy. The correct migration path for you depends on how your existing apps and services use ACS. We have published migration guidance to assist. In most cases, migration will require code changes on your part.

The Azure customers most likely to find ACS namespaces signed up Azure Service Bus prior to 2014. These namespaces can be identified by their –sb extension. The Service Bus team has provided migration guidance and will continue to publish updates to their blog.

How to

Share

03

Oct

Bring Your Own Keys for Apache Kafka on HDInsight
Bring Your Own Keys for Apache Kafka on HDInsight

One of the biggest security and compliance requirements for enterprise customers is to encrypt their data at rest using their own encryption key. This is even more critical in a post-GDPR world. Today, we’re announcing the public preview of Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) for data at rest in Apache Kafka on Azure HDInsight.

Azure HDInsight clusters already provide several levels of security. At the perimeter level, traffic can be controlled via Virtual Networks and Network Security Groups. Kerberos authentication and Apache Ranger provide the ability to finely control access to Kafka topics. Further, all managed disks are protected via Azure Storage Service Encryption (SSE). However, for some customers it is vital that they own and manage the keys used to encrypt the data at rest. Some customers achieve this by encrypting all Kafka messages in their producer applications and decrypting them in their consumer applications. This process is cumbersome and involves custom logic. Moreover, it doesn’t allow for usage of community supported connectors.

With HDInsight Kafka’s support for Bring Your Own Key (BYOK), encryption at rest is a one step process handled during cluster creation. Customers should use a user-assigned managed identity with the Azure Key Vault (AKV) to

Share

03

Oct

Accelerating healthcare AI startups in the cloud

Frost and Sullivan has estimated the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Market for Healthcare IT in 2018 for hospitals at $574 million USD and expects it to grow at a CAGR of 65 percent to $4.3 billion USD in 2022! Similar explosive growth is predicted across other segments of healthcare. Machine Learning (ML) is a type of AI that has already seen successful application in healthcare, particularly rapid growth, and shows major untapped potential to further help improve healthcare going forward. Key use cases range from resource and asset optimization to readmission prevention, chatbots, anti-fraud, behavioral analytics, medical risk analytics, claims analytics, cybersecurity, and many more. Business values driving healthcare organizations to deploy AI solutions across these use cases span cost reduction, improving patient outcomes, and improving the engagement and experiences of patients and healthcare professionals. Major opportunities for startups range from creating AI products and solutions for specific use cases and healthcare needs to services for education, customizing AI solutions, integrating them with existing enterprise systems and data stores, managing and operating solutions, and so forth. See the AI in Healthcare Guide for more information on these use cases and opportunities.

Below I review key goals of any healthcare AI startup,

Share

03

Oct

Fuel My Awesome: Celebrating developers and what makes them awesome

#FuelMyAwesome is back to celebrate developers like you, and we want to hear about all the things that make you tick and keep you inspired. Whether that’s a lucky beanie or a cold brew, a delightful desk toy or a fun way to get fit, we want you to share it with us for a chance to win cool swag.
 
Starting October 8, 2018, at 9:00 AM Pacific Time, @msdev will tweet weekly questions to uncover how you get in the zone, celebrate wins, recharge your batteries, and more. Reply directly to the weekly Monday tweets – including the hashtags #FuelMyAwesome and #sweepstakes – by Thursday at 11:59 PM Pacific Time to be entered for a chance to win*.

And remember to check back every Monday for a brand-new question and another chance to win.

Ready to start celebrating you? We are – because you are AWESOME.

FAQs How do I enter? Visit twitter.com/msdev. Find the current week’s #FuelMyAwesome tweet that is pinned to the top of the timeline during each entry period. Reply using the speech bubble/comment icon underneath the @msdev tweet with the following required elements: Answering the prompted question. No graphic or GIF is required.

Share

02

Oct

Spark + AI Summit Europe – Developing from cloud to the edge

Organizations around the world are gearing up for a future powered by data, cloud, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This week at Spark + AI Summit Europe, I talked about how Microsoft is committed to delivering cutting-edge innovations that help our customers navigate these technological and business shifts.

The driving force behind powerful AI applications is data – and getting the most out of AI requires a modern data estate. Organizations are using their data to extract important insights to drive their businesses forward and engage their customers in ways that were simply not possible before. One such example is the Real Madrid Football Club, one of the world’s top sports franchises with 500 million fans worldwide. Real Madrid built a global digital sports platform to engage one-on-one with fans, implement personalized promotional campaigns, and use data to track and analyze fan behaviors, among many other capabilities. This data-driven strategy has led to a 400 percent increase in installed fan base, and a 30 percent increase in digital revenue growth for the club.

“We used to pull data from just five sources before, but now we pull from more than 70 sources using our Microsoft Azure platform. This has enabled

Share

02

Oct

Azure.Source – Volume 51
Azure.Source – Volume 51

A Microsoft Ignite 2018 retrospective

As you probably know by now, many thousands of people descended on Orlando, Florida last week for Microsoft Ignite 2018. In this volume of Azure.Source, I’ve gathered in one place the links you need to dig through all of the announcements we made. As you will read and see below, a LOT happened last week.

Microsoft Ignite 2018 – Vision keynote – Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, kicks off Ignite and Envision 2018 with this keynote that lays out the Microsoft vision that will empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

IT and developer success with Microsoft Azure – Microsoft Azure gives you the freedom to build, manage, and deploy cloud native and hybrid applications on a massive, global cloud using your favorite tools and frameworks. Join Scott Guthrie, EVP Cloud + AI & Julia White, CVP Azure, as they demonstrate the latest advances.

Microsoft Ignite | The Tour – If you missed out on attending Ignite in Orlando, don’t fret – Ignite may be coming to a city near you over the coming months. Join us at the place where developers and tech professionals continue learning alongside experts.

Share