14

May

JUST ANNOUNCED! Bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell to keynote at Microsoft Business Applications Summit

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/just-announced-bestselling-author-malcolm-gladwell-to-keynote-at-microsoft-business-applications-summit/Source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/just-announced-bestselling-author-malcolm-gladwell-to-keynote-at-microsoft-business-applications-summit/           We’re bringing our BizApps community together for the first-ever Microsoft Business Applications Summit, *the* place for Dynamics 365, Power BI, Excel, PowerApps and Flow superfans to connect, collaborate and pack in as much READ MORE

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14

May

Announcing Dashboard Theming in the Power BI Service
Announcing Dashboard Theming in the Power BI Service

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/announcing-dashboard-theming-in-the-power-bi-service/Source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/announcing-dashboard-theming-in-the-power-bi-service/           Today, I am thrilled to announce the availability of dashboard theming in the Power BI service. Power BI dashboards pull together reports, images, Excel workbooks, and more, to provide a 360-degree…

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14

May

10 great things about Kafka on HDInsight
10 great things about Kafka on HDInsight

Kafka on HDInsight is Microsoft Azure’s managed Kafka cluster offering. It has generated huge customer interest and excitement since its general availability in December 2017.

Here are 10 great things about it:

1. Enterprise grade Kafka

HDInsight Kafka is an enterprise-grade managed cluster service giving you a 99.9 percent SLA. We take care of the heavy lifting for you, including operations, monitoring, security patching, and more. Running some of the largest Kafka clusters on the planet, we have the expertise and knowledge to prevent and quickly fix any issues.

2. Up and running in minutes

Create a full cluster in minutes, not days. Traditionally, it takes weeks to provision your own Kafka cluster on premises or on IaaS. With HDInsight, you get your own dedicated Kafka cluster within a few clicks.

3. Real open-source Kafka

With HDInsight, you get the true Apache Kafka engine running on your clusters with all its functionality. People love Kafka for its high throughput, lowest latency and cost-efficient scale. Along with the Producer and Consumer APIs, Kafka also has a rich feature set, such as compression of messages for an even higher throughput, configurable retention policy (including retention beyond 7 days and size based

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14

May

Azure.Source – Volume 31
Azure.Source – Volume 31

Build 2018

Last week, thousands of developers gathered in Seattle for Microsoft Build 2018, Microsoft’s annual developer conference, to learn how we are empowering them to advance the future of society with AI and the intelligent edge. This week’s Azure.Source covers a lot of content. For a more concise (TL;DR) summary of Build 2018, check out the Microsoft press release, Microsoft Build highlights new opportunity for developers, at the edge and in the cloud. For a roll-up of all the Azure announcements, see: Azure Announcements from Microsoft Build. And if you want to dig into all of the content delivered at Build 2018 session-by-session, you can now do so at Microsoft Build Live 2018.

New Azure innovations are helping developers write code today for tomorrow’s technology challenges – Scott Guthrie’s technology keynote at Build 2018 focused on the key areas of new Azure innovation that enable the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge – spanning developer tools, DevOps, containers, serverless, Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI).

Technology Keynote: Microsoft Azure – Watch the keynote to see how we are helping every developer be an AI developer on Azure. Learn about and see demos of

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14

May

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

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14

May

Accelerate your cloud data warehouse with automation tools

Gaining insights rapidly from data is critical to competitiveness in today’s business world. Azure SQL Data Warehouse (SQL DW), Microsoft’s fully managed analytics platform, leverages Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) to run complex interactive SQL queries at every level of scale.

An enterprise data warehouse doesn’t exist in isolation but is part of a complete analytics solution that includes the ‘pipelines’ that extract, transform, and load data, often from many disparate sources, as well as staging and reporting layers. Tasks such as continuous integration and continuous delivery require extensive manual coding and doesn’t offer the flexibility needed for the rapidly changing business needs. This is where data warehouse automation tools provide value for customers.

Data warehouse automation (DWA) tools are meta-data driven, code generation tools that streamline developing and managing a data warehouse solution. DWA tools provide more than just ETL automation, they automate the complete life cycle of a data warehouse solution, from analysis, design, and implementation to documentation, monitoring and maintenance.

Benefits of data warehouse automation

Data warehouse automation (DWA) tools bring the benefits of meta-data driven automation, and code generation to streamline developing and managing a data warehouse solution. DWA tools provide more than just ETL automation, they

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14

May

Join Microsoft at Bio-IT World
Join Microsoft at Bio-IT World

The Bio-IT World Conference and Expo kicks off tomorrow in Boston. Microsoft is a platinum sponsor of this event. The research and product development being done in the life sciences and healthcare industries are having a tremendous impact. Many of these efforts require a large volume of computation. Bio-IT World is where thought leaders at the forefront of this work come together to share knowledge and help advance the state of the science.

Representatives from our genomics team will be on hand in booth #446 to showcase Microsoft’s solutions for secure and scalable genomics work. Our Azure Specialized Compute team will demo how Azure’s high performance computing offerings can help researchers get simple, managed access to the compute resources they need, whatever that need may be. In addition, our partners at DNAnexus will be presenting a demo in the Microsoft booth from 3:30 to 4:00pm on Wednesday.

Jason Stowe, Principal Group Program Manager in the Azure Specialized Compute team will be an instructor for the Bootstrapping your life science startup workshop on Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday morning, he will introduce the plenary keynote. In this session, a panel of experts will discuss data science issues in life sciences.

Jason will

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14

May

Help improve our Azure docs!
Help improve our Azure docs!

On a weekly basis, more than 5 million people find help using Microsoft online help and documentation. Despite having more than 380,000 pages of articles, references, and tutorials, we each have our own stories of painful gaps.

Today, we’re introducing a new project to help, code-named Aladdin.

What is Aladdin? Aladdin is an AI assistant that connects you to relevant Azure documentation and helps you accomplish your work more efficiently. Just like any assistant, the more you work with Aladdin, the better it’ll be able to work for you. And as Aladdin helps you, it will be helping us identify gaps and areas for improvement in our docs and products.

After installing the Aladdin extension, “Related Questions” prompts will appear on Microsoft Docs article pages:

Each prompt recommends contextually-relevant articles:

 
Click on a card for more information, and “go to original article’” to navigate to the source page in a new tab:

Ask Aladdin if you have questions – Aladdin surfaces expert responses to questions from real customers:

Install Aladdin

Install the Aladdin extension for your Chrome browser. Aladdin will now be there to assist you on Azure documentation pages. Edge support is coming soon!

How does it work?

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10

May

Customer success stories with Azure Backup: Somerset County Council

This is a continuation of our customer success story blog series for Azure Backup. In the previous case study we covered Russell Reynolds, here we will discuss how United Kingdom’s Somerset County Council are able to improve their backup and restore efficiency and reduce their backup cost using Azure Backup.

Customer background

United Kingdom’s Somerset County Council provides government services to its 550,000 residents. It is one of the oldest local governments in the world, established about 700 A.D. Somerset had been using an in-house storage manager platform for their data backup and restore on-premises.

“The biggest problems we had were with flexibility and scalability. We had racks and racks of disks, and we had to wait a long time to get new hardware. The complexities with the product itself also introduced many challenges” says Dean Cridland, Senior IT Officer at Somerset County Council. In addition, as the data footprint grew, IT staff struggled to hit daily backup SLA. So, they were looking for a modern backup solution that could meet their ever-growing data footprint requirement, meet their backup SLA, and aligns with their strategy of moving to the cloud.

How Azure Backup helped

Somerset deployed Azure Backup Server to

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10

May

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:

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