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Top 5 Azure Announcements From Microsoft Build 2017

If you weren’t closely watching this year’s Microsoft Build conference, you probably missed out on some exciting announcements about new Microsoft Azure features. Fortunately for you, we’re here to quell your FOMO and catch you up on all that you missed.

We cover Azure frequently here on the Fast Lane blog, and we help businesses of all sizes refine their skills and get the most out of their Azure deployments, so needless to say, we pay special attention when Microsoft tells us there are changes ahead. Let’s look at the top 5 most exciting and impactful announcements made at this year’s conference.

1. New Apps for Azure On The Go

It has been a long-awaited development, and now it’s finally here. Microsoft has released Azure apps for Android and iOS, and they’ve announced a UWP version that will be available on Windows 10 in the near future. This will make checking key metrics, receiving important alerts, and generally managing your Azure deployment much easier and faster when you’re not in front of your computer.

2. Cosmos DB

Some exciting news for app developers is the availability of Azure’s new database service: Cosmos DB. This service allows developers to more easily build globally-distributed apps through the use of turnkey database management tools. In the words of Microsoft’s Dharma Shukla, it’s “the first globally-distributed data service that lets you elastically scale throughput and storage across any number of geographical regions while guaranteeing low latency, high availability and consistency – backed by the most comprehensive SLAs in the industry.” This model gives developers the power to create highly responsive, always-on apps with the muscle and security of Azure’s database tools on the backend.

3. Azure Cloud Shell

In another boon for developers, Microsoft rolled out Azure Cloud Shell, a browser-accessible shell capable of managing Azure resources more easily and efficiently. By coming preconfigured for faster functionality, Cloud Shell will allow developers to execute Azure tasks with simple and familiar scripts and commands, all while working within the browser and without being tethered to a local machine.

4. Azure IoT Edge

With the release of Azure’s IoT Edge platform, Microsoft adds to their existing IoT gateway arsenal and hops aboard a growing trend in the IoT space: empowering devices at the device level. IoT Edge allows you to run a plethora of Azure-based and other services locally that can harness the power of the cloud with all the speed of operating on the edge. Through this new platform, you’ll be able to manage your devices and services in the cloud with the Azure IoT Hub, as well as distribute data to the local level quickly and securely.

5. Microsoft AI

In a play to bring AI tools to more developers, Microsoft announced their commitment to use Cognitive Services in conjunction with Azure to provide one of the most powerful computing forces currently in existence. Microsoft has stressed their mission to “bring AI to every developer” and provide the “most comprehensive AI platform available.” With this new dive into the AI space, they’re well on their way to making that happen.