Cloud Platform Release Announcements for November 18, 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:

  • Connect(); 2015 Announcements
  • Enterprise Security Day Announcements

Connect(); 2015 announcements

Business transformation

  • Introducing free Visual Studio Dev Essentials program. Visual Studio Dev Essentials offers everything developers need to create applications on any device or operating system. Program benefits include: Access to Visual Studio Community, Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio Team Services, training services from Pluralsight, Wintellect and Xamarin, a $25 month Azure credit (coming early 2016) and more.
  • Visual Studio adds flexible cloud subscription purchase options. Visual Studio cloud subscriptions offer Visual Studio Professional and Visual Studio Enterprise on a monthly or annual basis, addressing the needs of short-term development projects. The new cloud subscriptions will be sold through a new Visual Studio Marketplace, and billed through Azure so teams can combine their development tools and cloud dev/test infrastructure resources on the same bill.
  • Announcing the new Visual Studio Marketplace. The Visual Studio Marketplace is a central place for developers to find and install extensions for the Visual Studio IDEs (Visual Studio Enterprise, Visual Studio Professional, and Visual Studio Community), Visual Studio Team Services (formerly Visual Studio Online), and Visual Studio Code.

Developer services

  • Announcing Visual Studio Team Services (formerly Visual Studio Online). This name change reflects the cloud development services that are the foundation of what was formerly Visual Studio Online. Key new features in Visual Studio Team Services include a new Team Foundation plugin for IntelliJ IDEA, Code Search extension preview, Package Management extension preview, Release Manager extension preview, a new customizable and task-based Build service and dashboards that provide visibility to a team’s progress.
  • Team Foundation Server 2015 Update 1 will be available November 30, 2015. New features include dashboards that provide visibility to a team’s progress of work, code, tests and builds, Git and Team Foundation Version Control in the same team project, the ability to query Kanban columns and SonarQube Analysis build tasks work with on-premises and hosted agents.
  • A HockeyApp extension is available in the Visual Studio Marketplace, with a free tier. The HockeyApp extension enables developers to extend their existing DevOps workflow to their mobile apps. Microsoft also introduced a HockeyApp free tier that enables a single developer to manage two apps and take advantage of all the capabilities of HockeyApp.
  • Azure Service Fabric available in public preview. Azure Service Fabric is a platform for developers to build and operate microservice-based applications at scale that fully integrate with Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio. Using the Actor and Reliable Services programming models, Service Fabric makes it easy to build applications with instant scalability, reliability, low latency and live upgrades all managed by the underlying platform. The preview includes support for .NET development on Windows Server, with Linux support expected in 2016.
  • Azure Dev/Test Labs is available in public preview. Azure DevTest Labs is a solution for developers who need test environments and for the IT professionals that need to provide those test environments while keeping an eye on cost and resources. For developers, DevTest Labs provides an easy self-service way to rapidly configure and provision test environments in Azure, without the usual delays associated with procuring hardware or spinning up VMs in a local datacenter. The elastic nature of Azure means that developers can simulate massive environments if required while only paying for resources for the time they are in use.

Other announcements related to cloud development included:

  • Docker Tools for Visual Studio RC, enabling developers to work with Docker Containers from Visual Studio targeting both Linux and Windows containers.
  • Azure SDK 2.8, providing diagnostics of production applications on Azure, making Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template creation and deployment intuitive, as well as enabling targeting Microsoft Azure Stack from within Visual Studio 2015.
  • Azure diagnostics, now offered as part of Visual Studio Application Insights providing all the system and infrastructure data in one place.

Developer tools

  • NET Core 5 Release Candidate and ASP.NET 5 Release Candidate are now available. The release candidates of .NET Core 5 and ASP.NET 5 are available for Linux, Windows, and OS X. This is a full implementation of the .NET Core for any operating system with a Go-Live license, meaning that developers can start using it in production environments. ASP.NET 5 RC includes enhancements to both the runtime and tools with a simplified hosting model across Windows, OS X and Linux.
  • A beta of Visual Studio Code is now available and open source. In the beta, Microsoft is introducing a new extension model for Visual Studio Code, including a gallery of extensions available within Visual Studio Code or on Extensions add the ability to expand the capabilities of Visual Studio Code with additional features, themes, and language support. Visual Studio Code will also be open sourced and available on GitHub, taking contributions from the community.
  • Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 will be available November 30, 2015. Updates included in Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 enable new development scenarios for .NET developers and for cross-platform developers. Key new features in Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 include an update to Tools for Universal Windows Apps, pull Requests hub in Visual Studio, the ability to debug Java source code directly in the Visual Studio IDE and TypeScript 1.7.
  • Visual Studio Emulator for Android will be available for Mac OS X in a future update. Microsoft is releasing the Visual Studio Emulator for Android for Mac OS X in a future update. This will enable Android developers working in OS X or Windows to use Microsoft’s fast, powerful and free Android emulator.

Today, Microsoft also announced:

  • Public Preview of the Visual Studio GDB Debugger Extension, enabling Linux native remote debugging support in Visual Studio for Linux servers or IoT devices among others.
  • Node.js Tools for Visual Studio 1.1 (RTM), with higher developer productivity and Node.js v4.x support in Visual Studio.
  • Additional updates for mobile development, including CodePush Open Beta, Intune App SDK, updates to the Visual Studio Emulator for Android and a partnership with MacInCloud that delivers a special Visual Studio Team Services build plan for building apps for iOS and other platforms in the cloud.
  • An early peek to the next major release of Visual Studio, including the new and dramatically improved setup experience, the lightweight installation option with support for any language and an early view on some innovation themes for the next version of the C# language.

Enterprise Security Day announcements

Today in Washington DC, we will elaborate Microsoft’s commitment to ensure our customers are secure and well managed as their estate expands to include more devices and more cloud apps. In an environment of increasingly frequent and more severe cyber-attacks, securing the devices and apps employees and partners use as well as hybrid infrastructure is a primary concern. 
At this event Microsoft made several announcements. Those specific to C+E included:

  • Expanded managed mobile productivity with EMS across Office, other MS apps and third parties. Managing mobile productivity is a central part of the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), and EMS is the comprehensive and market-leading cloud solution for managing mobile productivity with identity at the center. We are excited to announce new capabilities in EMS. Microsoft Intune(part of EMS) delivers mobile device and application management capabilities to ensure data and apps are protected on mobile devices. Intune will now provide new expanded capabilities to manage company apps and data on devices your users own, specifically:
    • Manage Office mobile apps without MDM: Manage Office mobile apps without requiring the device to be enrolled for management.
      • This is particularly useful for BYO scenarios where end users don’t want to or can’t enroll their device for IT management.
      • This will also enable customers to use EMS to manage the Office mobile apps on a device already enrolled for management in a third party MDM solution.
      • As part of this month’s service update Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive support Intune MAM without enrollment. Support for Outlook is coming in the next few weeks. This new capability is in addition to the existing Intune MAM that requires enrollment into Intune mobile device management (MDM).
    • Manage additional Microsoft apps: Intune MAM support for additional Microsoft apps including Power BI and Remote Desktop client which are available now. Support for Skype for Business and Dynamics CRM apps are coming soon.
    • Manage third party apps: Major companies like Box and Adobe have announced iOS and Android apps with native support for Intune mobile application management, and SAP Fiori mobile apps customized and built by SAP’s customers will also support these management and data protection capabilities delivered by Microsoft Intune.
    • Learn more about this announcement here:
  • Azure Security Center provides increased visibility and control over the security of your deployments across Azure. With unique insights into the threat landscape from billions of signals from end points, cloud applications and partners’ services Azure Security Center offers advanced, analytics-driven, threat detection that helps you prevent, detect and respond to security threats in real time. Currently in private preview this this first-of-its-kind service integrates with security solutions from companies such as Barracuda, Checkpoint, Cisco Systems Inc., CloudFlare, F5 Networks, Fortinet, Imperva, Incapsula and Trend Micro Inc. Learn more about Azure Security Center here:
  • Azure Disk Encryption is now available in public preview. It helps you address organizational security and compliance requirements, by encrypting your VM disks with keys and policies that you control in Azure Key Vault. With Azure Disk Encryption, you can encrypt your virtual machine disks, including the boot and the data disks. It works for both Linux and Windows operating systems. The solution uses Azure Key Vault to help you safeguard, manage, and audit use of your disk encryption keys. All the data in the VM disks are encrypted at rest using industry standard encryption technology in your Azure storage accounts. The Azure Disk Encryption solution for Windows is based on proven Microsoft BitLocker Drive Encryption and the Linux solution is based on dm-crypt.
    • Azure Disk Encryption is available only on Standard Tier virtual machines.
    • Customers can learn how to get started here.

Enabling cloud capabilities for Department of Defense customers

We continue to expand on Microsoft’s investment in trust and transparency and are proud to share that we will be delivering the final compliance package to DOD for the DoD’s Cloud Security Requirements Guidelines Impact Level 5 in the next few days. This makes Microsoft one of the first hyper-scale cloud providers to meet this high bar.

In order to meet the strong requirements of the Department of Defense, Microsoft is providing dedicated infrastructure for DoD-only tenants and dedicated networking through ExpressRoute to provide private transport for DoD data transiting from the DoD Information Networks to the Microsoft’s dedicated government network.

This investment means that Microsoft is providing one of the highest levels of security for a multi-tenant unclassified cloud system. We anticipate that we will soon have Level 5 Provisional Authorization for Azure Government.

Please visit our Azure Trust Center for all things related to Azure Government security, privacy, transparency, and compliance.