Cloud Platform Release Announcements for October 14, 2015

This is a blog post of a new ongoing series of consolidated updates from the Cloud Platform team.


In today’s mobile first, cloud first world, Microsoft provides the technologies and tools to enable enterprises to embrace a cloud culture. Our differentiated innovations, comprehensive mobile solutions and developer tools help all of our customers realize the true potential of the cloud first era.

You expect cloud-speed innovation from us, and we’re delivering across the breadth of our Cloud Platform product portfolio. Below is a consolidated list of our latest releases to help you stay current, with links to additional details if you’d like more information. In this update:

  • Azure SQL Database Security
  • Azure SQL Database full text search generally available
  • New Power BI Content Packs for Azure Audit Logs and Microsoft Dynamics NAV generally available
  • Azure Backup supports application workloads generally available
  • ASR integrates with SQL AlwaysOn public review
  • Azure Premium Storage generally available in additional regions: US Central and EU North
  • OMS Log Analytics Mobile Apps generally available
  • Azure Active Directory Domain Services in public preview
  • General availability of Azure RMS Document Tracking, MFA support for RMS Sharing app on all platforms and RMS support for Outlook on Android
  • Azure Active Directory Application Proxy: Remote Desktop publishing and non-MS apps SSO public preview
  • System Center Configuration Manager technical preview 3 update 2
  • Azure Government Continues Momentum to Meet Government Customer Challenges

Azure SQL Database Security

Today we are announcing how Azure SQL Database provides unparalleled data security in the cloud with Always Encrypted. From the smallest startup to the largest enterprise, data security is an increasingly top of mind concern for all businesses, especially as they continue to target the cloud for both new and existing applications. As you transform your business and move to the cloud, Azure SQL Database offers a set of built-in, world class features so you can secure your data from malicious and unauthorized users. You can choose from a portfolio of easy-to-use features designed to help you quickly protect your data and confidently build secure applications within Azure. Key features include: SQL Database support for Azure Active Directory authentication, Row-Level Security, dynamic data masking, transparent data encryption and Always Encrypted.

Azure SQL Database full text search generally available

For applications that manage and store character-based data in Azure SQL Database, Full-Text Search provides fast, rich search functionality integrated into the database platform. In addition to preview capabilities, we enhanced the feature with support for .xml doc types and self-service diagnostic experience through XEvents. Users can now easily troubleshoot and will have visibility into issues like indexing errors or unsupported doc types. This will optimize even further the search experience and bringing it closer to on-premises SQL Server capabilities. Full-Text Search is available in all service tiers in Azure SQL Database V12 through familiar TSQL syntax and Microsoft SQL Server tools. For more details on Full-Text Search feature, get started here.

New Power BI Content Packs for Azure Audit Logs and Microsoft Dynamics NAV generally available

Power BI continues to make it easier for users to connect to their data, providing pre-built solutions for popular services as part of the experience. This month we added content packs for Azure Audit Logs and Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

Azure Audit Logs allows you to view control-plane operational logs in your Azure subscription. The Power BI Azure Audit Logs content pack can help you easily analyze and visualize the wealth of information contained in these logs. The content pack allows you to connect to your data and begin to discover insights with the out-of-the box dashboard and reports.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a business management solution for small to medium organizations. It offers customers a full solution for their business with greater control over their financials and business processes. The Power BI content pack provides out-of-box reports for Dynamics NAV users, such as sales and profit, opportunities pipeline, profitability and more. These metrics are organized on a dashboard that can be fully customized, allowing you to easily connect and immediately start exploring your data.

Subscribers to these supported services can now quickly connect to their account from Power BI and see their data through live dashboards and interactive reports that have been pre-built for them. Getting started with data visualization and analysis has never been easier, for additional information visit the Power BI blog.

Azure Backup supports application workloads generally available

Azure Backup can now backup your on-premises application workloads including SQL, Hyper-V VMs, SharePoint and Exchange. You can back up your applications to a local disk or to Azure, allowing you to eliminate local tape libraries, and leverage the unlimited storage capability of Azure. In addition, you can manage all of your on-premises backups from a single user interface.

Azure Backup continues to support backing up your production IaaS VMs in Azure, and protect Windows Clients data, and shared Files and Folders.

Azure backup is now available as part of the  Microsoft Operations Management Suite – the all-in-one IT management solution for Windows or Linux, across on-premises or any cloud environments.

Check out the Azure Backup web page for more details on these new features and capabilities.

ASR integrates with SQL AlwaysOn public review

In public preview: Azure Site Recovery now provides native support for SQL AlwaysOn. SQL Availability Groups can be added to an ASR Recovery Plan along with virtual machines. All capabilities of ASR Recovery Plans including sequencing, scripting, and manual actions can be leveraged to orchestrate the failover of a multi-tier application that uses an SQL database, configured with AlwaysOn replication.

Azure Site Recovery is now available through the Microsoft Operations Management Suite – the all-in-one IT management solution for Windows or Linux, across on-premises or any cloud environments.

The Azure Site Recovery web page will give you more details about these new features and capabilities.

Azure Premium Storage generally available in additional regions: US Central and EU North

Pricing | Storage web page 

Azure Premium Storage is a solid-state drive (SSD)–based storage solution designed to support I/O-intensive workloads. With Premium Storage, you can add up to 32 TB of persistent storage per virtual machine (VM), with more than 64,000 IOPS per VM and extremely low latencies for read operations. Offering a service-level agreement (SLA) for 99.9 percent availability, Premium Storage is now available in the US Central – DM and EU North – DB regions, as well as the previously announced regions. Learn more about Premium Storage here.

OMS Log Analytics Mobile Apps generally available

Microsoft Operations Management suite provides management of any platform, anywhere from any devices, anytime. Starting today, customers can access their personalized dashboards, solutions and search queries on the go, identify and troubleshoot IT operational issues at the touch of fingertips using the Microsoft Operations Management suite mobile app for Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. Visit the Microsoft Operations Management Suite mobile app website here to download and install the apps, and gain insights on the move anytime.

Tools for Universal Windows Apps 1.1.1 RTM

This update, which is what you’ll get with a new installation, fixes a bug in Tools for Universal Windows Apps 1.1 where Visual Studio failed to create a package for a UWP app that uses a WinRT component. You can find additional information and installation instructions in Generating Store associated package fails for a UWP application with a WinRT component (.winmd).

Azure Active Directory Domain Services in public preview

Azure Active Directory Domain Services provide scalable, high-performance, managed domain services such as domain-join, LDAP, Kerberos, Windows Integrated Authentication and Group Policy support. With the click of a button, administrators can enable managed domain services for virtual machines and directory-aware applications deployed in Azure Infrastructure Services. By maintaining compatibility with Windows Server Active Directory, Azure AD Domain Services provide an easy way to migrate traditional on-premises applications to the cloud. For more details please visit the Azure Active Directory Domain Services website.

General availability of Azure RMS Document Tracking, MFA support for RMS Sharing app on all platforms and RMS support for Outlook on Android

Document Tracking, a feature of Microsoft Azure Rights Management will be generally available starting October 14, 2015. This feature enables document owners to track activities on sensitive files that they share with others. Activities such as recipients opening the files, unauthorized users being denied access to the files and the latest state of the files can be viewed on a web hosted site. With a single click, the document owner can also revoke access to a shared file. This feature will be available as a part of the Azure Rights Management Premium subscription or the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite or Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Suite.

We’re also excited to announce that the RMS Sharing app on Windows desktop, iOS, Android, OSX, and Window Phone will now support your current Multi-Factor Authentication investments such as Azure MFA, Smart Cards or other MFA solutions as an option to require additional authentication to open rights protected documents.

Finally, we’re happy to announce RMS support for Outlook on Android, so you can now read and reply to RMS protected emails on Android devices. Learn more about all these new features and more on The RMS Blog.

Azure Active Directory Application Proxy: Remote Desktop publishing and non-MS apps SSO public preview

Azure Active Directory Application Proxy provides remote access and single-sign on for many types of on-premises web applications side by side with the thousands of SaaS applications that Azure Active Directory supports.

Now it expands its capabilities by providing single-sign on for even more types of web application including Remote Desktop, non-Windows applications and for applications hosted in cloud IaaS platforms. For more information, please read the documentation on Application Proxy.

System Center Configuration Manager technical preview 3 update 2

Today we are making available update 1510 for System Center Configuration Manager Technical Preview 3. This new update brings with it an early view of the new Windows 10 Servicing node, which enables you to view the state of Windows as a service in your environment, create flexible servicing plans to form deployment rings, and view alerts when Windows 10 clients are near end of support for their build of Current Branch or Current Branch for Business. Learn more about the update here.

Azure Government continues momentum to meet government customer challenges

Announcing Azure Government’s five new capabilities and how Government agencies and partners are leveraging our trusted cloud to experience breakthrough ways of delivering hybrid applications, and business continuity. Find out more here.