Category Archives : Developer

13

Nov

Get started in minutes: Build your own enterprise grade virtual assistant

Whether in a vehicle looking to find the nearest gas station, or on a factory floor needing to stop the production line, it is easy to imagine ways in which conversation-based interactions can enhance experiences and increase productivity. We’re evolving from a world where humans have had to learn and adapt to computers to one where computers are learning how to understand and interact with humans in a more natural way.

Azure Bot Service helps developers build, connect, deploy, and manage intelligent bots to interact naturally with users on websites, apps, Cortana, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Slack, Facebook Messenger, and more. With over 360,000+ registered Azure Bot Service developers, we are constantly improving our tools and framework to make them more productive. Today, we’re announcing the preview of an open source bot solution accelerator for virtual assistants. This solution accelerator simplifies the creation of branded virtual assistants, enabling developers to get started in minutes. Additionally, the Bot Framework software development kit and Tools version 4.1 is generally available, enabling developers to be more productive with bot development. Finally, Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire XOXCO, a software product design studio most known for its conversational AI and bot development capabilities.

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12

Nov

Developing hybrid applications with Azure Stack
Developing hybrid applications with Azure Stack

More and more we hear from our customers that building hybrid applications is necessary for their business. While Microsoft Azure continues to be the platform of choice for building applications, Azure Stack and Azure together enable building hybrid applications. The consistent experience across both makes it easy. You can use Azure services from anywhere, whether at the bottom of a mine, from inside a container on a cargo ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or from the top of Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Andes. Literally, you can run apps that you developed in Azure any place where traditional data centers don’t exist.

You can use Azure Stack close to your operations while using your favorite tools and programming language. Push your apps through dev, test, and into production with a single integrated DevOps pipeline.

Nothing illustrates the power of hybrid apps like the disaster relief prototype my team designed and implemented. This is a great demo of Azure services in a mobile deployment, disconnected in a remote environment. The solution supports data collection and decision making, and we can also see it being tested in areas such as healthcare.

Azure Stack offers capabilities today that make

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12

Nov

Start asking your questions for the Azure Monitor AMA now!
Start asking your questions for the Azure Monitor AMA now!

The Azure Monitor team is hosting a special Ask Me Anything session on Twitter, Thursday, November 15, 2018 from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM Pacific Time. You can tweet to @AzureMonitor or @AzureSupport with #AzureMonitorAMA.

What’s an AMA session?

AMA stands for Ask Me Anything – this is an opportunity for Twitter users to send questions directly to the Azure Monitor Engineering team. We will be on standby to answer any questions you have about our products, services, or even our team!

Why are you doing an AMA?

We want to hear more from our customers and the community. We want to know how you use Azure, Azure Monitor, Application Insights, and Log Analytics, and how your experience has been. Your questions provide insights into how we can make the service better.

How do I ask questions on Twitter?

You can ask us your questions by putting “#AzureMonitorAMA” in your tweet. Your question can span multiple tweets by replying to first tweet you post with this hashtag. You can also directly message @AzureMonitor or @AzureSupport if you want to keep your questions private. You can start posting your questions before the scheduled time of the AMA, but we will start

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08

Nov

The importance of Azure Stack for DevOps
The importance of Azure Stack for DevOps

This blog post was co-authored by Steve Buchanan, Cloud & Datacenter MVP.

DevOps focuses on aligning culture, people, processes, and technology. It is sometimes thought that the technology part does not play a critical role in DevOps. This is wrong! Tools and technology help facilitate DevOps methodology and processes. Having the wrong tools and technology when trying to roll out DevOps can make it a challenge and can even become a blocker. Cloud platforms enable DevOps and are often the catalyst for rolling out DevOps. A recent Gartner report says that 75 percent of organizations plan to pursue a hybrid cloud strategy. An organization that implements a hybrid cloud strategy will need a consistent DevOps model across both an on-premises and public cloud. Microsoft Azure Stack extends Azure cloud services and capabilities to the on-premises environment, which is why it is so valuable for DevOps. Now let’s dive in to see what DevOps on Azure Stack looks like.

Azure Stack and Azure give you the ability to stand up a hybrid continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD) pipeline. With hybrid CI/CD, workloads can land on either an on-premises or public cloud, and they can be moved. Code that’s written for Azure Stack

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30

Oct

Your guide to Azure Stack, Azure Data Box, and Avere Ignite sessions

On behalf of the Azure Stack team, I would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Ignite 2018 attendees for the overwhelming response to our series of Azure Stack, Azure Data Box, and Avere sessions. Now, we’re thrilled to share the sessions on-demand to everyone, everywhere.

Before diving into the session videos below, I encourage you to learn more about the Azure solutions enabling a new era of intelligent cloud and intelligent edge computing. Read an excellent overview from Julia White, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Azure, and visit our new Future of Cloud webpage.

Azure Stack

These sessions are packed with information, use cases, and guidance to help you understand the principles of Azure Stack. Explore use cases for implementing the solution and get started.

To help you zero in on content relevant to your interests and expertise, follow our two learning paths—four sessions tailored for operators and four sessions for developers (with a special session for CSPs), then explore over 12 additional sessions that drill down into topics that may interest you.

To learn more about Azure Stack, visit the Azure Stack website, view the documentation, download the development kit, and explore real-world stories of Azure Stack

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25

Oct

What’s new in PowerShell in Azure Cloud Shell
What’s new in PowerShell in Azure Cloud Shell

At Microsoft Ignite 2018, PowerShell in Azure Cloud Shell became generally available. Azure Cloud Shell provides an interactive, browser-accessible, authenticated shell for managing Azure resources from virtually anywhere. With multiple access points, including the Azure portal, the stand-alone experience, Azure documentation, the Azure mobile app, and the Azure Account Extension for Visual Studio Code, you can easily gain access to PowerShell in Cloud Shell to manage and deploy Azure resources.

Improvements

Since the public preview in September 2017, we’ve incorporated feedback from the community including faster start-up time, PowerShell Core, consistent tooling with Bash, persistent tool settings, and more. 

Faster start-up

At the beginning of PowerShell in Cloud Shell’s public preview, the experience opened in about 120 seconds. Now, with many performance updates, the PowerShell experience is available in about the same amount of time as a Bash experience.

PowerShell Core

PowerShell is now cross-platform, open-source, and built for heterogeneous environments and the hybrid cloud. With the Azure PowerShell and Azure Active Directory (AAD) modules for PowerShell Core, both now in preview, you are still able to manage your Azure resources in a consistent manner. By moving to PowerShell Core, the PowerShell experience in Cloud Shell can now run on

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23

Oct

Public preview: Named Entity Recognition in the Cognitive Services Text Analytics API

Today, we are happy to announce the public preview of Named Entity Recognition as part of the Text Analytics Cognitive Service. Named Entity Recognition (NER) is the ability to take free-form text and identify the occurrences of entities such as people, locations, organizations, and more. With just a simple API call, NER in Text Analytics uses robust machine learning models to find and categorize more than twenty types of named entities in any text documents.

Many organizations have messy piles of unstructured text in the form of customer feedback, enterprise documents, social media feeds, and more. However, it is challenging to understand what information these ever-growing stacks of documents contain. Text Analytics has long been helping customers make sense of these troves of text with capabilities such as Key Phrase Extraction, Sentiment Analysis, and Language Detection. Today’s announcement adds to this suite of powerful and easy-to-use natural language processing solutions that make it easy to tackle many problems.

Named Entity Recognition and Entity Linking

Building upon the Entity Linking feature that was announced at Build earlier this year, the new Entities API processes the text using both NER and Entity Linking capabilities. This makes it an extremely powerful solution for squeezing

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22

Oct

How developers can get started with building AI applications

This blog is co-authored by Wee Hyong Tok, Principal Data Scientist Manager, Office of the CTO AI.

In recent years, we have seen a leap in practical AI innovations catalyzed by vast amounts of data, the cloud, innovations in algorithms, hardware and more. So how do developers begin to design AI applications that engage and delight your customers, optimize operations, empower your employees, and transform products?

Using Azure Cognitive Services you can now infuse your applications, websites, and bots with intelligent capabilities. These capabilities build on years of research done on vision, speech, knowledge, search, and language. Using different cognitive services, developers can now easily add AI capabilities without training the machine learning models from scratch.

O’Reilly and Microsoft are excited to bring you a free e-book on AI, titled A Developer’s Guide to Building AI Applications. In this e-book, Anand Raman and Wee Hyong Tok of Microsoft provide a gentle introduction to use Azure AI for building intelligent, AI applications. They provide a practical example of a bot called “Conference Buddy”, that is used by conference attendees. The e-book walks through the use case, the architecture, and how to create the bot while infusing it with AI. The code

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22

Oct

Seven best practices for Continuous Monitoring with Azure Monitor

Whether you are a developer, site reliability engineer, IT Ops specialist, program manager, or a DevOps practitioner monitoring is something you definitely care about! With modern applications evolving from an on-premises world to becoming more hybrid or microservices based, there is also a need to evolve skill sets and adopt some best practices for a successful monitoring strategy on a hybrid/public cloud.

Azure Monitor is Microsoft’s unified monitoring solution that provides full-stack observability across applications and infrastructure. Depending on the hat you are wearing at the moment, you can start with end-to-end visibility across the health of your resources, drill down to the most probable root cause of a problem, even to actual lines of code, fix the issue in your app or infrastructure, and re-deploy in a matter of minutes. If you have a robust monitoring pipeline setup, you should be able to find and fix issues way before it starts impacting your customers.

Continuous Monitoring

Many of you already know how Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) as a DevOps concept can help you deliver software faster and more reliably to provide continuous value to your users. Continuous Monitoring (CM) is a new follow-up concept where you can

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16

Oct

Azure IoT Reference Architecture 2.1 release
Azure IoT Reference Architecture 2.1 release

A few months ago, we released a significant update to the Azure IoT Reference Architecture, a downloadable resource that aims to accelerate customers building IoT solutions on Azure by providing a proven production ready architecture and technology implementation choices.

Today, we are happy to release updated version 2.1 of the Azure IoT Reference Architecture. The document offers an overview of the IoT space, recommended subsystem factoring for scalable IoT solutions, prescriptive technology recommendations per subsystem, and detailed sections that explore use cases and technology alternatives.

This latest version of the guide includes four essential updates:

Guidance to build IoT solutions by leveraging SaaS (Azure IoT Central), PaaS (Azure IoT solution accelerators), or IaaS (using OSS stack). Azure IoT Central is a fully managed global IoT SaaS (software-as-a-service) solution that makes it easy to connect, monitor, and manage your IoT assets at scale. Azure IoT solution accelerators are open source offerings that provide end to end examples showcasing the use of Azure technologies to achieve faster time to market and time to value. Incorporating Azure IoT Edge as the intelligent edge for expanding the set of connected devices that gather telemetry, generate insights, and take action based on information close to

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