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 328: 13th June 2021

This week, key rotation and expiration policies for Azure Storage has been announced.

Issue 327: 6th June 2021

This week, Sarah Lean provides a round up from MS Build and Michael Crump discusses 3 very cool projects with demos released at Microsoft Build, including Azure Bicep. And, on the Azure DevOps podcast, Jeffrey Palermo provides a Microsoft Build Recap.

The updates team has also announced identity-based connections in Azure Functions with latest Azure SDK triggers and bindings and an Azure API Management Premium tier price reduction for incremental purchased units. Carissa Broadbent discusses the new pricing changes to Azure Sentinel and Azure Monitor Log Analytics to help you save costs. Neta Haiby runs through how to extract values and line items from invoices with Form Recognizer (now GA).

Disha Agarwal highlights a really interesting service for quickly extracting knowledge from your data in Question Answering is now in Public Preview. Mark Kromer discusses the new connector in Azure Data Flows: SQL Server as Source and Sink. Aaron Powell runs through local development With CosmosDB and devcontainers. Vijai Kannan walks through accelerating labeling productivity by using AML Data Labeling. Finally, Raymond Meng-Ru Tsai describes Running NCBI BLAST on Azure, enabling improved performance, scalability and best practice.

Issue 326: 30th May 2021

Microsoft BUILD 2021 occurred this week, so there are quite a few announcements (you might want to make a ☕). As ever the Book of News is a great summary, and you can view any of the session on demand. It's worth calling out the keynote "Application Development with Scott Hanselman & Friends" because a huge amount of effort has been put into creating differentiated conference content in an attempt to break away from the PowerPoint + an autocue script session which has become the mainstay of remote conferences during the pandemic. Congrats to Scott & co for creating something engaging, entertaining and self-aware.

Many of the announcements at BUILD focused around Azure Arc and the ability to run more Azure PaaS services on it. This opens a number of very interesting scenarios for orgs that want the benefit of cloud services, but on prem (or "disconnected" or cross-cloud). There are many announcements in the Containers section of the newsletter, but I'll highlight this article as a good overview: Running Azure PaaS anywhere using Azure application services with Azure Arc. Another high level article that dovetails into this strategy is: Gain flexibility to run open-source applications your way with Microsoft Azure.

I'm going to highlight some of the non-arc related announcements; first off the public preview of Azure Confidential Ledger (hopefully with a smaller carbon footprint than traditional blockchain implementations). Next, the excellent Azure Cognitive Search service has new indexers allow you to ingest data from many new data sources, including Cosmos DB Gremlin API, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, SharePoint Online. This opens up knowledge management scenarios across a number of silos.

In the data & analytics arena Delta Lake comes to Synapse: Query Delta Lake files using T-SQL in Azure Synapse Analytics public preview, Azure Storage Blob inventory (which allows you to understand the number of objects and their sizes etc) is in public preview available in all public regions. And Azure Cosmos DB role-based access control RBAC now in general availability.

In web technologies, native support for WebSocket APIs in Azure API Management is in public preview. There are New Storage Providers (SQL Server and Netherite) for Azure Durable Functions, App Service Managed Certificates now generally available, and an interesting article on Levelling Up Static Web Apps With the CLI.

Finally, there's an interesting article about using the Azure Percept Development Kit to build and run object recognition models

Issue 325: 23rd May 2021

Following on from Azure Static Web Apps going GA, Ayşegül Yönet runs through everything you need to know to deploy an Azure Static Web App.

In an interesting move, Microsoft announced that they are deprecating the distribution of Microsoft Container Images via Docker Hub.

Sagar Lankala discusses how the SharePoint Online Team leverages DevTest Labs to create testing environments, and there's a great post from Jasper Defesche about Invictifying Azure Data Factory.

Finally a couple useful posts about Azure Storage. First up John Reilly talks about Azurite and Table Storage in a dev container, and Charbel Nemnom has an article about one of the more exciting features to appear: Attribute-Based Access Control for Azure Blob Storage. If you've ever used Apache Ranger, using attributes for access control offers some very nice customisation scenarios.

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