Microsoft Connect 2017: they Expand Azure with Databricks and other anouncements.

Microsoft is introducing new tools to the aid the Cloud developer to increase productivity and app development at their recent Connect event. Scot Guthrie EVP Cloud and Enterprise group in Microsoft outlined their vision and shared what’s next for developers across a broad range of Microsoft and open source technologies, and how Microsoft will help developers get more done across apps or platforms. He also touched on Microsoft’s AI abilities stating that “With today’s intelligent cloud, emerging technologies like AI have the potential to change every facet of how we interact with the world, he further espoused about the fact that “Developers are in the forefront of shaping that potential. Today at Connect; we’re announcing new tools and services, such as Databricks, that help developers build applications and services for the AI-driven future, using the platforms, languages and collaboration tools they already know and love.”

Loads of announcements at Microsoft Connect 2017

The company has introduced several new technologies, the first is Azure Databricks,  this is a technology based on Apache Spark, which is a collaborative analytics platform that allows a one click set up, and has workflows to allow a streamlined and interactive workplace. It has native integration with Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Storage, Cosmos DB, Axure AD and Power BI which allows the simplification of modern data warehouses which enables organizations to create self-service and machine learning, with the enterprise stability and governance that people have come to expect from this the new Microsoft.

However this was not all that was announced, Microsoft have joined the MariaDB foundation as a platinum member and stated that MariaDB would be a fully managed service in Azure.  They also announced an expansion of CosmosDB to offer the Casandra as a Service.

Microsoft have open-sourced their github extension Git Virtual File System (GVFS) which they developed to support their own Git Repositories. This is actually a lot bigger than it sounds, Git are notoriously serious about multiplatform support, and Microsoft and Git are actively working to open GVFS to Linux and MacOS

They also announced the General Availability of Visual Studio App Center, a new cloud service to aid developers to create better applications more quickly and more frequently across many differing development platforms like Objective-C, Swift, Xamarin etc.  The Beta Preview of their newly announced Azure DevOps projects allows Developers to connection to Azure services and create GitHub repositories with just a few clicks.

They also announced a plethora of AI and machine learning initiatives within Visual Studio, Azure IoT Edge and SQL Databases.

The thing that is most interesting about these announcements is the synergy that Microsoft is building with the open source world.  Casandra, MongoDB and GitHub are all denizens of OSS, another interesting fact is that Microsoft are GitHubs largest Open-source contributor, even larger that Google. Futher, not only are they top contributor on GitHub, they also have the most opensource projects in the list of the top 500 projects compiled by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation at 24 project, that is a country mile ahead of the likes of Google and Pivotal (seven) and RedHat (six).

The opening up of their own previously closed source environments line .Net Core, Visual Studio Code and TypeScript. And what is even more amazing is that over 60% or push requests to CoreFX.Net and CoreCLR.Net Core runtimes are coming from non Microsoft entities.

But what surprised me more is that Microsoft commitment to OpenSource is not really a new thing, yes it’s commitment has grown with the investiture of Nadela as CEO, but their contributions stated in 2004 with the release of Wix.  More amazing is that Microsoft became the largest contributor to the Linux Kernel in 2012.

There is the Docker collaboration which resulting in Docker on Windows and Azure, futher colaberation resulting in LinuxKit.

It is truly amazing the work that is going on within Microsoft on OpenSource projects, from a company that looked like it was in terminal decline under Balmer they have recovered to regain their position as the major player that everybody need to keep their eye on.  Things are definitely looking interesting in the northwest tech hub of Redmond.

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