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Announcements from Microsoft Connect(); 2017

In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights from the first day of the Microsoft Connect(); developer conference.

Any developer. Any app. Any platform.

Through its Visual Studio family of products and Azure services, Microsoft remains committed to the goal of providing best-of-breed tools for every developer, regardless of programming language or hardware platform.

The keynote’s opening demo showcased the synergy between the lightweight editor, Visual Studio Code, and the deployment and hosting services provided by Microsoft Azure. With Visual Studio Code running on a Mac, the presenter installed the new Node Pack for Azure extension, which added tooling for the following services:

  • Azure App Service, for creating and deploying websites.
  • Azure Functions, with local debugging capability.
  • Azure Cosmos DB, for backend database storage.
  • Docker Tools, for developing and deploying containerized microservice-based applications.

Being able to quickly create and deploy an application to the cloud was impressive enough, but what followed offered a glimpse into the future of collaborative development. Using an unreleased preview technology called Visual Studio Live Share, one presenter effectively shared his development environment with a team member by passing a URL. Moreover, the context of the original session (Visual Studio Code, running on a Mac) was duplicated on the team member’s machine (Visual Studio IDE, running on Windows) without having to clone any repositories or install any dependencies.

Mobile first + Cloud first

The Xamarin Live Player is now integrated with Visual Studio 2017 to provide an enhanced debugging experience for mobile apps. By scanning a QR code with a mobile device, developers can pair with an instance of Visual Studio to debug their code, which is interpreted on the device.

With .NET Embedding, available as a NuGet package or Mac installer, developers can now call natively compiled .NET code from Swift, Objective-C, and Java apps.

Visual Studio App Center (formerly Visual Studio Mobile Center) lets developers build, test, deploy, and monitor apps that target iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS, all from a single web portal. It supports continuous integration (CI) via GitHub and Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) repositories, and provides an SDK that can collect usage and crash data.

Containers, DevOps, Data, AI

Also announced at Connect(); 2017:

  • Visual Studio Connected Environment for AKS (Azure Container Services), a fully managed Kubernetes orchestration service.
  • Azure DevOps Projects, for configuring CI and application monitoring, with support for both VSTS and GitHub.
  • SQL Operations Studio, a free tool for modern database operations that runs on Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
  • Azure Database for MariaDB, compatible with all existing drivers, libraries, and tools.

Finally, if you’re into conspiracy theories (or just curious about AI and machine learning), you’ll want to check out this blog post:

John Juback

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