Azure Weekly

Your weekly Azure news fix

Azure Weekly is a summary of the week's top news to help you build on the Microsoft Azure Platform.

From AI to Availability Zones, it aims to keep you on top of the latest Azure developments.

Issue 355: 14th January 2022

I want to start this issue talking about Azure API Management; in my opinion, it's one of the of the hidden gems of the Azure Ecosystem. We've worked with many customers over the last decade who have attempted to transform their organisations or deal with industry disruption by embracing the API Economy. These orgs have taken internal data & algorithms and created new business models and "coopetition" opportunities, or used APIs to break down internal siloes, or have leveraged Open Banking APIs for competitive advantage.

5 years ago we worked with the Azure APIM team to release a tech briefing on Digital Transformation with Azure APIM, and a API Maturity Model to help people to understand that embarking on the journey of designing, building, testing, deploying, supporting, marketing, metering & billing APIs can be a daunting prospect, but can be tackled by adopting a simple "assess & invest" feedback loop.

The barrier to entering the API Economy has been significantly reduced with services like Azure API Management, but the remaining challenge is how you approach designing your business model, your monetization strategy and your revenue model. You can find 100s of articles about choosing the right APIM solution, but none about the "secret sauce" that is the strategy and operational mechanics around actually monetizing your APIs... until now!

We've produced two in-depth articles: Monetization with Azure API Management, which covers the strategy & detail, and How API Management supports monetization which shows how to implement that strategy using Azure APIM. We've also created a GitHub repo that demonstrates easy to deploy examples of how to integrate Stripe and Adyen payment providers with Azure APIM, and implement & enforce pricing rules & limits. Finally, we've produced two walkthrough videos: Monetize APIs with Azure API Management Using Stripe and Monetize APIs with Azure API Management Using Adyen. Hopefully you'll find this content valuable. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.

Other interesting content this week: a nice video of CI/CD deployments for Azure Container Apps and an interesting tutorial a realtime collaboration app using Vue.js and Node.js, hosted in Azure Static Web Apps. I'm a big fan of Semantic Search, and a nice new feature has been added: Semantic configurations and broader availability for Semantic Search. There's a new feature of Azure Synapse Analytics: Introducing Map Data preview for Synapse, and there's a neat little tutorial about Scanning and analyzing invoices using Xamarin.Forms and Azure.

Finally, Azure Cosmos DB Conf 2022 has been announced; it'll be running April 19-20. The Call for Papers has been announced. Submit your sessions!

Issue 354: 7th January 2022

Happy New Year & welcome to issue 353 of Azure Weekly! This is an epic edition, covering most of December. I've highlighted a few articles I found interesting, but I'd strongly suggest making a cup of your favourite beverage and work your way through the newsletter.

From my perspective, the most important new Azure Service in 2021 was Azure Container Apps; we've been doing a number of experiments to kick the tires, and we've started a new blog series covering our journey: Adventures in Dapr: Episode 0 and Episode 1.John Reilly has published a number of posts around DevOps for ACA: Azure Container Apps, Bicep and GitHub Actions, and Azure Container Apps: build and deploy with Bicep and GitHub Actions. The second most important service is Static Web Apps, and there's a good post covering how to Build A Recipe Blog with Azure Static Web Apps & Hugo.

If the CLI is your preferred way of interacting with Azure these articles might be for you: Query deployment outputs with the Azure CLI, Oh My Azure Cloud Shell, and Why is Az 7 an important release for Azure PowerShell

Two features that caught my attention: CosmosDB change feed is supported in ADF now and Automated key rotation in Azure Key Vault is now in public preview.

Finally, there have been a number of storage related features released: Attribute-based Access Control (ABAC) conditions with principal attributes now in public preview, immutable storage with versioning for Blob Storage is now generally available, Soft delete for blobs capability for Azure Data Lake Storage is now generally available, and a how to configure SFTP natively in Azure Storage guide.

Issue 353: 12th December 2021

This is going to be the last issue of 2021, so that I can spend some time tweaking the newsletter in preparation for 2022.

To start there are two welcome Storage announcements: Immutable storage with versioning for Blob Storage is now Generally Available and Azure Storage: Attribute-based Access Control ABAC conditions with principal attributes now in public preview.

There's a useful post on Automate Playwright Testing With GitHub Actions, another on Monitoring Azure Policy Compliance States and a An introduction to the Cloud Adoption Framework Manage methodology.

Finally to finish, two interesting posts - the first features the awesome SandDance library in Azure Data Studio - A SandDance demo and finally a fascinating deep dive into how the UK COVID-19 dashboard was built using Postgres and Citus for millions of users.

Thanks for reading the newsletter this year, and I'll see you again in 2022.

Issue 352: 5th December 2021

We've been doing R&D on Dapr and Azure Container Apps over the last few months and now we're sharing the journey and findings in the start of a new blog series: Adventures in Dapr: Episode 0.

It's good to see that Azure has a load testing service again; it's a vital part of the DevOps process for any applications that deal with significant amounts of traffic. Introducing Azure Load Testing: Optimize app performance at scale. There's also a nice new feature in Application Insights that offers new HEART Workbook is based on Google's HEART framework to Measure product effectiveness with new user analytics. If you've been dabbling with Azure Static Web Apps, you may be interested in Refactoring Azure Static Web Apps CI/CD Pipeline.

An useful post highlights a number of Community and certification related resources for developers. There's also a good post on addressing data processing outside the data sovereignty region (GDPR).

And finally three interesting posts, the first helps you Get Started with Azure and WebAssembly, and the final two examine Developer Velocity and The SPACE framework: Putting Tools in Your Hands to Improve Developer Productivity, and Introducing Developer Velocity Lab – A Research Initiative to Amplify Developer Work and Well-Being.

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