Cloud Platform Release Announcements for February 7, 2018

Azure Event Grid | GA

We are happy to announce the general availability of Azure Event Grid, a managed event routing service that enables you to react in real time to changes happening in Azure resources or your own applications.

Using Event Grid, applications can now send events when state changes occur by using push semantics. Anyone interested in acting on those events can subscribe and be notified without polling, reducing their required compute resources.

This will enable interesting scenarios such as simplifying ops and security automation through easier policy enforcement, expanding serverless compute scenarios with new event sources, and enabling better communication and integration among event-based services and apps.

To learn more, read the announcement blog post and visit the Event Grid page.

Azure API Management | Versions—GA

Azure API Management Versions and Revisions capabilities now GA

The Versions and Revisions of Azure API Management gives customers a flexible and comprehensive tool to manage change in their APIs. Now in general availability (GA), Revisions and Versions allow API publishers to make changes to their APIs in a controlled and safe fashion. Use Revisions to make changes to APIs without disturbing consumers. Versions enable publishers to present groups of related APIs to developers, with each version differentiated by a version number.

This blog post provides more details on this release. Find additional information on Azure API Management.

Azure API Management | Application Insights integration—GA

Azure API Management integration with Azure Application Insights now in preview

Azure API Management integration with Azure Application Insights is now available in preview. This new feature lets customers add API Management telemetry to Application Insights and use its rich set of capabilities to monitor and troubleshoot their APIs.

This feature can be enabled directly from your API Management instance in the Azure portal. Use this integration to provide statistical analysis to assess application performance. You’ll find additional guidance in this blog post.

Azure App Service | Modern CLI preview for Node

Announcing the preview release of a new CLI experience for Node Web Apps creation. Using a single command, developers can now create and deploy a node.js app to App Service on Linux without any prerequisite knowledge of Azure concepts such as App Service Plan or Azure Resource Group. See more information.

System Center | Version 1801 (semi-annual channel)

System Center, version 1801 is now available at the Evaluation Center or the VLSC. Based on your feedback, we are delivering new features and enhancements including improved Linux monitoring support, more efficient VMware backup, additional support for Windows Server, and improved user experience and performance. We have also added security updates and bug fixes across all components. System Center, version 1801 is the first of our Semi-Annual Channel releases. We are delivering new capabilities at a faster cadence so that you can take advantage of the latest technologies sooner. See more details on the System Center blog.

Virtual Network Service Endpoints | Storage—GA

Virtual Network service endpoints allow you to secure Azure Storage accounts to your virtual networks, fully removing public internet access to these resources. Service endpoints provide optimal routing by always keeping traffic destined to Azure Storage on the Azure backbone network. This optimal route overrides any routes directing traffic through on-premises or virtual appliances.

Service Endpoints is now generally available for Azure Storage for all regions in Azure public cloud and Microsoft Azure Government. There’s no additional cost to enable service endpoints on your virtual networks.

For more details, please visit the Virtual Network Service Endpoints webpage.

Azure IoT Hub | IoT Hub integration to Event Grid in preview

Azure IoT Hub integration to Azure Event Grid was launched in preview on January 30, 2018. By integrating with Azure IoT Hub, Azure Event Grid increases support for device life-cycle events as well as provides an easy way to automate actions such as database updates, ticket creation, and billing management—all without human intervention.

Azure Event Grid also integrates easily with modern serverless architectures and third-party applications, allowing companies to extend its functionality across the network without the need for complicated coding.

All of this helps customers scale their IoT solutions and transform their businesses by automating potentially labor-intensive processes involved with setup, configuration, management, and monitoring of devices. With Event Grid, operations managers can easily integrate and automate key processes such as:

  • Updating their CRM system with information on the new device, and automatically opening tickets to configure the device.
  • Kicking off Azure Functions to check compliance of the new device once it’s operational.
  • Receiving automatic updates on Power BI dashboards to display the new device and its status so they can quickly react to device life-cycle events, integrate events with other business applications, and save costs on polling services.

Learn more about IoT Hub integration to Event Grid.

Learn more about Event Grid and its capabilities.

Azure Network Watcher | Connection Troubleshoot—GA

Azure Network Watcher Connection Troubleshoot, previously in preview as Connectivity Check, is now generally available.

Connection Troubleshoot is part of our Network Watcher suite of networking tools and capabilities, enabling you to troubleshoot network performance and connectivity issues in Azure.

Continuing the expansion of tools within Azure Network Watcher, this new addition provides visualization of the hop-by-hop path from source to destination, identifying issues that can potentially impact your network performance and connectivity.

With the addition of Connection Troubleshoot, Network Watcher will see an incremental increase in its capabilities and ways for you to utilize it in your day to day operations. You can now:

  • Check connectivity between source (VM) and destination (VM, URI, FQDN, IP Address).
  • Identify configuration issues that are impacting reachability.
  • Provide all possible hop by hop paths from the source to destination.
  • See latency between source and destination.
  • Get a topology (graphical) view from your source to destination.
  • See the number of packets dropped during the connection troubleshoot check.

See more information about Network Watcher Connection Troubleshoot.

Azure Cosmos DB | Graph API—GA

Azure Cosmos DB Graph API now generally available

In late 2017, we updated the Graph API service to be generally available. This release provides improved performance and reduced latency with the use of third-party Gremlin connectors, support for Python and PHP platforms, and a preview of a .NET library for performant bulk import operations. Learn more at this Azure blog post.

Azure Search | Better performance and scale—GA

Azure Search—Better performance and scale features

Starting in late 2017, all new paid Azure Search services started using brand new, more powerful underlying hardware in select regions. The upgraded search services offer significantly higher performance and remove document count limits, at no additional cost. Learn more about this update.

Azure OSS DevOps Integrations | Improving the developer experience of Ansible on Azure

Ansible is now available, pre-installed, and ready to use in the Azure Cloud Shell. The Azure Cloud Shell is a browser-based command-line experience that enables Ansible commands to be executed directly in the portal. This shell can run on any machine—including your smart phone— and any browser.

We also have released an Ansible extension for Visual Studio Code that allows for faster development and testing of Ansible playbooks. Use this extension to get code snippets for any Ansible module, get syntax highlighting and even run the playbook locally, in Docker containers, or directly in the Azure Cloud Shell.

To get started using Ansible on Azure, visit the Ansible on Azure developer hub or see our blog.

Azure OSS DevOps Integrations | Making setup for Jenkins on Azure simple

The Jenkins Master app, published by Microsoft in the Azure Marketplace, has been refreshed to make it even easier to deploy an Azure optimized Jenkins master to your Azure subscription. With the latest updates to the Jenkins solution template, you can now deploy directly to a private virtual network, integrate Managed Service Identity or Azure Service Principal out of the box, as well as have preconfigured agent pools to use either virtual machines (VMs) or Azure Container Instances. To get started using Jenkins on Azure, visit the Jenkins on Azure developer hub, or see this blog post.

Azure Active Directory (AD) | B2C—New options for customization

Azure Active Directory B2C, our identity and access management tool for engaging with your customers, has even more customization options added to improve the user experience and enhance security. Custom password complexity, B2C-specific audit events in the portal, and GitHub as an identity provider are now available in preview. Twitter as an identity provider the ability to migrate users with social identities are now generally available as well. Language customization has two new additions expected to go into general availability later in February 2018, in addition to a simplified configuration experience for access tokens. Learn more on this blog post.

Microsoft Intune | Intune Graph API—GA

Intune APIs in Microsoft Graph are now generally available. This opens a new set of possibilities for our customers and partners to automate and integrate their workloads to reduce deployment times and improve overall device management efficiency. Learn more about Intune APIs in Microsoft Graph.

Azure AD Core IAM | Application Proxy wildcard support in preview

Simpler application management with Azure AD Application Proxy wildcard publishing

Wildcard (*) application publishing in Azure AD Application Proxy is now available in preview. If you have several applications that use the same format (for example: https://*.contoso.com) and have the same settings, you can now publish and manage these as one application in the Azure Portal. This will greatly simplify your onboarding and management experience. Learn how to publish a wildcard application and see how this can help improve your deployments.

Azure AD | My Apps browser extension

It’s faster and easier now to sign in to all your Azure AD-connected applications with the My Apps browser extension. The My Apps extension works on Edge, Chrome, and Firefox. You don’t have to navigate to the My Apps portal to get access to all their single sign-on enabled apps—the extension acts as an app launcher to provide quick access to their app gallery, including shortcuts to recently used apps. Additionally, if you go directly to the single sign-on app URL, the extension will recognize you have a saved password and give you an option to sign in by clicking on the extension icon in the toolbar. Learn more about this new sign in experience.