Category Archives : Developer



Devs imagine, create, and code the future at Microsoft Build

On Monday, May 7, more than 6,000 developers from more than 70 countries descended on the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington, for Microsoft Build. From experienced coders to eight-year-old prodigies, the attendees were united by a passion for building apps for the intelligent cloud. To catch up on sessions you missed, check out the on-demand content.

CEO Satya Nadella kicked things off by talking about how the intelligent cloud will revolutionize every aspect of our lives. Alongside Executive Vice President for Cloud and Enterprise Group Scott Guthrie and Corporate Vice President for Windows Joe Belfiore, Nadella showed developers how they can use Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 to create transformational multisense and multidevice experiences.

In one keynote demonstration, attendees got to see how an audio-video device using Microsoft 365 and AI services could transform a common business meeting. Through the use of facial recognition, each attendee was greeted by name as they entered the room. The device even transcribed their speech in real-time, automatically assigning the text to the right speaker. Power BI was used to visualize data. Cortana, together with Microsoft Graph, created a summary of action items, automatically attaching the files that were mentioned.




Create enterprise subscription experience in Azure portal public preview

Typically, Azure Enterprise Agreement (EA) subscriptions were created in the EA Portal and management of services was completed in the Azure portal. Our goal is to converge on the Azure portal as the primary avenue for users to manage their Azure services and subscriptions.

We are making available the public preview of the create subscription experience in the Azure portal. This capability will directly align with the the ability to create multiple enterprise subscriptions using the Create Subscription API. This experience is fully integrated in the Azure portal and will enable you to quickly get an EA subscription created without any programming.

Getting started

The following steps only apply to EA and EA Dev/Test subscriptions. The majority of users will be able to access the user experience below. There will be some users who do not meet the prerequisites to create a subscription in the Azure portal. For those users, the “+Add” button will open a separate window to create new subscriptions.

The steps for using the create enterprise subscription experience in the Azure portal are as follows:

If you are not an account owner, get added by an EA enrollment admin. Navigate to the Subscriptions extension in the Azure




Serverless real-time notifications in Azure using Azure #CosmosDB

There were lots of announcements at the Microsoft Build 2018 conference, but one that caught my eye was the preview release of Azure SignalR, a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering that lets you implement real-time messages and notifications quite easily, without worrying about instances or hosts.

So it made me wonder, could I build something using my favorite globally-distributed and serverless database, Azure Cosmos DB, and Azure’s serverless compute offering, Azure Functions? It turns out others were interested in this topic too.

Real-time, really?

For those of you that do not know, SignalR is a library that’s been around since 2013 for the ASP.NET Framework, recently rewritten for ASP.NET Core under the name of SignalR Core, that allows you to easily create real-time applications and push content to clients through the Websocket protocol, gracefully falling back to other alternatives depending on the client. It works great for games, dashboards/monitoring apps, collaborative apps, mapping/tracking apps, or any app requiring notifications.

By leveraging the Websocket protocol, content can be pushed to clients without the overhead of opening multiple HTTP connections and over a single two-way TCP channel that is maintained for the entire session.

Going serverless!

One requirement of SignalR was that you,




Blue-Green deployments using Azure Traffic Manager

Azure Traffic Manager, Azure’s DNS based load balancing solution, is used by customers for a wide variety of use cases including routing a global user base to endpoints on Azure that will give them the fastest, low latency experience, providing seamless auto-failover for mission critical workloads and migration from on-premises to the cloud. One key use case where customers leverage Traffic Manager is to make their software deployments smoother with minimal impact to their users by implementing a Blue-Green deployment process using Traffic Manager’s weighted round-robin routing method. This blog will show how we can implement Blue-Green deployment using Traffic Manager, but before we dive deep, let us discuss what we mean by Blue-Green deployment.

Blue-Green deployment is a software rollout method that can reduce the impact of interruptions caused due to issues in the new version being deployed. This is achieved by exposing the new version of the software to a limited set of users and expanding that user base gradually until everyone is using the new version. If at any time the new version is causing issues, for example a broken authentication workflow in the new version of a web application, all the users can be instantly* redirected




Azure the cloud for all – highlights from Microsoft BUILD 2018

Last week, the Microsoft Build conference brought developers lots of innovation and was action packed with in-depth sessions. During the event, my discussions in the halls ranged from containers to dev tools, IoT to Azure Cosmos DB, and of course, AI. The pace of innovation available to developers is amazing. And, in case there was simply too much for you to digest, I wanted to pull together some key highlights and top sessions to watch, starting with a great video playlist with highlights from the keynotes.

Empowering developers through the best tools

Build is for devs, and all innovation in our industry starts with code! So, let’s start with dev tools. Day one of Build marked the introduction of .NET Core 2.1 release candidate. .NET Core 2.1 improves on previous releases with performance gains and many new features. Check out all the details in the release blog and this great session from Build showing what you can use today:

.NET Overview & Roadmap: In this session, Scott Hanselman and Scott Hunter talked about all things .NET, including new .NET Core 2.1 features made available at Build.

Scott Hanselman and Scott Hunter sharing new .NET Core 2.1.

With AI being top




Detect malicious activity using Azure Security Center and Azure Log Analytics

This blog post was authored by the Azure Security Center team. ​

We have heard from our customers that investigating malicious activity on their systems can be tedious and knowing where to start is challenging. Azure Security Center makes it simple for you to respond to detected threats. It uses built-in behavioral analytics and machine learning to detect threats and generates alerts for the attempted or successful attacks. As discussed in a previous post, you can explore the alerts of detected threats through the Investigation Path, which uses Azure Log Analytics to show the relationship between all the entities involved in the attack. Today, we are going to explain to you how Security Center’s ability to detect threats using machine learning and Azure Log Analytics can help you keep pace with rapidly evolving cyberattacks.

Investigate anomalies on your systems using Azure Log Analytics

One method is to look at the trends of processes, accounts, and computers to understand when anomalous or rare processes and accounts are run on computers which indicates potentially malicious or unwanted activity. Run the below query against your data and note that what comes up is an anomaly or rare over the last 30 days. This




Why developers should enable Azure Security Center’s Just-in-Time VM Access

We are seeing more developers building and running their applications in the public cloud. In fact, companies are using multiple public clouds to run their applications. Our customers tell us that they choose to build applications in Azure because it’s easy to get started and that they have peace of mind knowing the services that their applications rely on will be available, reliable, and secure. Today, we are going to discuss how Azure Security Center’s Just-in-Time VM Access can help you secure virtual machines that are running your applications and code. 

Successful attacks on your virtual machines can create serious challenges for development. If a server is compromised, your source code could potentially be exposed, along with the proprietary algorithms or internal knowledge about the application. The pace of development can slow down because your team is focused on recovering from the attack instead of writing and reviewing code. Most importantly, an attack can affect your customers’ abilities to access your applications, impacting your brand and your business. Just-in-Time VM Access can help you reduce your exposure to attacks by limiting the amount of time management ports are open on the virtual machines running your code.

Just-in-Time VM Access




Using the Azure IoT Python SDK: make sure you check the version!

Since the release in 2016, developers are using our Azure IoT Python SDK to write device and back-end applications to connect to Azure IoT Hub and Device Provisioning Service, as well as writing modules for Azure IoT Edge (preview). Python is a popular choice for prototyping, and it is gaining traction in the embedded world.

If you decide to use the Python SDK for development, there are few things you should keep in mind: Python SDK is a wrapper on top of our Azure IoT C SDK, and we release binary packages on pip for Windows, Ubuntu, and Raspbian, all of which are compatible with Python 2 and Python 3. This approach has its ups and downs. On the upside, the features you see in C are available in Python with no functionality difference. On the downside, it is not a native Python SDK. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that we exposed may look different from typical Python APIs; and as a developer, you will need to pay attention the architecture of underlying platform, especially when you are using pip!

At a high level, there are three things that must align to reference the Python SDK properly: Python version (2 or




Extract management insights from SQL Data Warehouse with SQL Operations Studio

SQL Operations Studio can be leveraged with Azure SQL Data Warehouse (SQL DW) to create rich customizable dashboard widgets surfacing insights to your data warehouse. This unlocks key scenarios around managing and tuning your data warehouse to ensure it is optimized for consistent performance. Previously, developers had to manually and continuously execute complex DMV queries to extract insights from their data warehouse. This leads to a repetitious process when following development and tuning best practices with SQL DW. Now with SQL Operations Studio, customized insight widgets can be embedded directly within the query tool enabling you to seamlessly monitor and troubleshoot issues with your data warehouse.

The following widgets can be generated by using the provided T-SQL monitoring scripts within SQL Operations Studio for common data warehouse insights.

Data Skew

Detect data skew across distributions to help identify and troubleshoot query performance issues:

Columnstore health and statistics

Leverage views to help maximize columnstore row group quality and ensure table statistics are up to date for optimal query performance:

User Activity

Identify and understand workload patterns through active sessions queries, queued queries, loads, and backups:

Resource Bottlenecks

Ensure adequate resources are allocated such as memory and TempDB:




In case you missed it: 10 of your questions from our GDPR webinars

During the last few months, I’ve spoken with a lot of Azure customers, both in person and online, about how to prepare for the May 25, 2018 deadline for compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR imposes new rules on companies, government agencies, non-profits, and other organizations that offer goods and services to people in the European Union (EU), or that collect and analyze data tied to EU residents. The GDPR applies no matter where you are located. The GDPR will dramatically shift the landscape for data collection and analysis, since under the GDPR, many practices that were commonplace will be forbidden, and companies must take care in assessing their exposure and how to comply.

I recently participated in a Microsoft series of webinars about the GDPR and its implications for IT teams and cloud computing. We got a lot of questions from the audience in these webinars, so I thought I would respond to some of the most frequently asked ones that we thought you might find helpful, along with links to the on-demand webinars.

Q: Does the GDPR allow me to send data outside the EU?

A: GDPR applies globally, so no matter