Category Archives : Web

02

Jul

Azure Search – Announcing the general availability of synonyms

Today we are announcing the general availability of synonyms. Synonyms allow Azure Search to associate equivalent terms that implicitly expand the scope of a query, without the user having to provide the alternate terms.

A good example of this capability was demonstrated at the recent Microsoft Build conference, where we showed how NBA.com searches their vast photo library of players, owners, and celebrities. In this application Azure Search synonyms are used to enable nicknames of Lebron James such as “The King” or “King James” to be returned regardless of which of the three terms are used in the query.

In Azure Search, synonym support is based on synonym maps that you define and upload to your search service. These maps constitute an independent resource, such as indexes or data sources, and can be used by any searchable field in any index in your search service. Synonym maps use the Apache Solr format as outlined in the example synonym map below:

POST https://[servicename].search.windows.net/synonymmaps?api-version=2017-11-11 api-key: [admin key] { “name”:”mysynonymmap”, “format”:”solr”, “synonyms”: ” USA, United States, United States of American Washington, Wash., WA => WAn” }

In the above example, you can see there are two types of synonyms that are

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19

Jun

Maven: Deploy Java Apps to Azure with Tomcat on Linux
Maven: Deploy Java Apps to Azure with Tomcat on Linux

We are pleased to announce a new feature in the Maven Plugin for Azure App Service. The plugin provides seamless integration of Azure services into Maven projects. With only one step, you can deploy your WAR file to Azure Web Apps on Linux with the built-in running stack of Java 8 and Tomcat 8.5 or 9.0. By leveraging Maven, the Azure App Service plugin is portable and can be integrated with your IDEs and CI/CD pipelines easily.

Web apps with Tomcat on Linux

A couple of months ago, we announced the preview release of built-in support for Java 8 and Tomcat 8.5/9.0 on Web Apps on Linux. This allows developers to get their Java apps up and running on Azure in a managed environment, benefitting from auto-scaling and high availability.

Getting started with Maven

After creating a new Azure Web App, choose Linux for OS and Tomcat as stack. Save the information of this new Web App to configurate the Maven plugin. Open the pom.xml file and add the following settings in the <configuration> section.

<!– Web App information –> <resourceGroup>your-resource-group</resourceGroup> <appName>your-app-name</appName> <!– Java Running Stack for Web App on Linux–> <linuxRuntime>tomcat 8.5-jre8</linuxRuntime> <!– Deployment Type –> <deploymentType>war</deploymentType>

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18

Jun

Dive into blockchain for healthcare with the HIMSS blockchain webinar

Excitement around the potential of blockchain in healthcare has reached all-time highs and is accelerating. There is a hunger building across the industry for real use cases with real healthcare organizations transacting on blockchain, and proof points, case studies, or success stories that outline business values sought, results achieved, what worked well, and what needs improvement. Only through such hands-on experience can we validate the true potential of blockchain in healthcare, refine its application, improve any deficiencies identified, build trust, and scale it both in terms of the networks of healthcare organizations participating in various blockchain initiatives, as well as scaling blockchain in applying it to additional healthcare use cases.

The HIMSS Blockchain Work Group is forum of leaders from across healthcare including providers, payers, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, and industry experts worldwide, collaborating to advance the applications of blockchain in healthcare. I have the honor of participating in this group. At the recent HIMSS18 conference in Las Vegas I had the privilege of moderating a session, organized by the HIMSS Blockchain Work Group, with a panel of worldwide experts on blockchain in healthcare. If you missed that event you can now view the video on demand. At this event we

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06

Jun

Azure Search is now certified for several levels of compliance

Compliance is an important factor for customers when looking at software and services as they look to meet their own compliance obligations across regulated industries and markets worldwide. For example, ISO 27001 certification is a security standard that provides a baseline set of requirements for many other international standards and regulations and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a US law that establishes requirements for the use, disclosure, and safeguarding of protected health information (PHI).

For that reason, we are excited to announce that Azure Search has been certified for several levels of compliance including:

ISO 27001:2013 SOC 2 Type 2 GxP (21 CFR Part 11) HIPAA and the HITECH Act HITRUST PCI DSS Level 1 Australia IRAP Unclassified

With these certifications and attestations, we hope to enable Azure Search as a viable option for customers looking to meet and attain key international and industry-specific compliance standards within their solutions.

Azure compliance offerings are grouped into four segments: globally applicable, US government, industry specific, and region/country specific. To view an overview of Azure Search as well as other Microsoft Azure compliance offerings, please visit the Microsoft Trust Center. In addition, you can directly download a document that provides

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23

May

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,

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21

May

Changes coming to PowerShell (preview) in Azure Cloud Shell

Azure Cloud Shell provides browser-based authenticated shell access to Azure from virtually anywhere. Cloud Shell gives the users a rich environment with common tools that is updated and maintained by Microsoft.

Currently, Azure Cloud Shell provides two environments that can be launched from Azure Portal, dedicated URL, Azure documentation, Visual Studio Code via the Azure Account extension, and Azure App:

Bash in Cloud Shell that runs Bash shell on Ubuntu Linux, which was made generally available in November 2017

PowerShell in Cloud Shell that runs Windows PowerShell 5.1 on Windows Server Core and has been in preview since September 2017

In this post, we are listing the key upcoming changes to the PowerShell experience in Azure Cloud Shell, namely:

Faster startup time PowerShell Core 6 as the default experience Running on a Linux container Persistent Tool Settings Faster Startup Time

We are well-aware that the startup time of PowerShell in Azure Cloud Shell is well below the user’s expectation. For past couple of months, the team has been working hard to make significant improvements in this area. We expect to deliver multi-fold improvements in the startup time for PowerShell experience (and also make Bash experience faster).

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07

Mar

Public preview of Java on App Service, built-in support for Tomcat and OpenJDK

A couple of months back, we announced the general availability of App Service on Linux, starting with support for .NET Core, Node.js, Ruby, PHP, and custom Docker containers. Today, we are glad to share the public preview of Java apps on App Service. This release includes built-in support for Apache Tomcat 8.5/9.0 and OpenJDK 8, making it easy for Java developers to deploy web or API apps to Azure. Just bring your .jar or .war file to Azure App Service and we’ll take care of the capacity provisioning, server maintenance, and load balancing. 

Create and deploy a Java web app easily

Creating a Java web app is easy with App Service using our out-of-box support for Tomcat and OpenJDK. You can deploy your .jar or .war file to Azure and get it up and running at scale with just a few clicks. If you have other preferred images such as Jetty or a different JRE, you can also build your own Docker image and deploy it to App Service. 

Here’s an example of creating a Java web app with a Tomcat image in the portal:

App Service integrates well with your favorite code repos, IDEs, and CLI tools. You

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03

Jan

Migration checklist when moving to Azure App Service
Migration checklist when moving to Azure App Service

I have been continuously getting requests from customers, colleagues and partners around what to consider when migrating applications to Azure PaaS service but more specifically to the App Service.

This post tries to cover the majority of those cases and aims to provide a checklist and ready reckoner for customers/partners intending to migrate their existing applications to Azure App Service.

To start, let’s have a look at various considerations before you consider migrating your applications to Azure App Service

Port Bindings – Azure App Service support port 80 for http and port 443 for HTTPS traffic. If you have sites using any other port after migration to Azure App Service, do remember that these are the only ports that will be used. Usage of assemblies in the GAC (Global Assembly Cache)- This is not supported. Consider bin placing the assemblies in the local bin. IIS5 Compatibility Mode– IIS5 Compatibility Mode is not supported. In Azure App Service each Web App and all the applications under it run in the same worker process with a specific set of application pool settings. IIS7+ Schema Compliance– One or more elements and/or attributes are being used which are not defined in Azure App Service

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