Cloud Platform Release Announcements for February 21, 2018

Power BI Desktop | GA

New features and updates are now available in Power BI Desktop:

Reporting—Continued updates, including some of the major customer asks such as multi-selecting data points across multiple charts and syncing slicer values across multiple pages of reports. Other updates include faster geocoding, overflow data labels for bar and column charts, and search in the formatting and analytics panes.

Analytics—Desktop users can now mark a custom date table and use new DAX functions UTCNOW() and UTCTODAY(). Also, quick measures are now generally available.

Custom visuals—Organizational visuals menu is now available in preview. New custom visuals are now available, including Network Visualization and Filter, Slope Chart by MAQ Software, Filter by List, as Timeline, and as T-Accounts.

Data connectivity—Improvements to DirectQuery over SAP HANA in preview. Other: DirectQuery and Open/Save performance improvements. “Show items with no data” improvements, persistent filters control for upcoming Power BI service feature and Consulting Services quick link.

For more information on these new features and others, read the February 2018 update announcement on the Power BI Blog.

Power BI service and mobile | GA

New and most frequently requested Power BI features are now available to users and business analysts.

Share and favorite Power BI reports—Dashboards have been the primary way to share content with others in the service. However, there has always been an ask from our community and users to extend the same capability to reports. Users can now share reports directly with others in Power BI.

OAuth2 and DirectQuery single sign-on support for Azure SQL Database and Data Warehouse—Dataset owners can now choose to use Azure AD OAuth credentials when connecting the Power BI service to Azure SQL databases. With this update, Power BI can use all the security features of Azure Active Directory (AD) when connecting to Azure SQL—including multi-factor authentication when it’s configured.

In-region auditing—Power BI customers around the globe who enable auditing in their tenant will now have these audit logs stored in the same Office 365 region as their tenant.

General availability of SharePoint Online report web part—This feature enables SharePoint authors to easily embed Power BI reports directly on their page without any code.

Custom visuals admin control—IT admins now have more control over whether users in their organization can view reports containing custom visuals. Please note that the setting applies to the entire organization and can’t be limited to specific groups.

Scheduled refresh support for Azure Analysis Services—Power BI now supports imported data from Azure Analysis Services and for the scheduling of those imports to be refreshed.

January update for on-premises gateway—The January 2018 update includes a beta release of the PowerShell Cmdlets to manage on-premises data gateway in the public PowerShell gallery configuration that lets you control the number of mashup engine containers that can run in parallel, in addition to a new version of the Mashup Engine.

Improved hyperlinks support on Mobile—Users can now directly navigate to links within custom visuals and open them on your favorite mobile browser.

Sign in to to experience the new features immediately. For more information on these new features and others, read the Power BI Service and Mobile January feature summary on the Power BI Blog.

Azure Cosmos DB | Webinar series—GA

Azure Cosmos DB training webinars

Join us as we explore Azure Cosmos DB in our seven-part training series with interactive question and answer opportunities throughout. In addition to a technical deep dive on Azure Cosmos DB, this series covers a wide array of topics, such as Graph API, Table API, and migrating Mongo DB applications to Azure Cosmos DB. By the end of this series, you’ll learn about building serverless applications and conduct real-time analytics using Azure Cosmos DB, Azure functions, and Spark connector.

Learn more about these webinar sessions.

Azure Redis Cache | Geo-replication—GA

In February 2018, we announced the general availability of geo-replication support for Azure Redis Cache. Azure Redis Cache is Microsoft’s cache-as-a-service offering, based on the popular open source Redis in-memory key-value store.

With geo-replication support, Azure Redis Cache joins a growing list of Azure services that enable developers and IT pros to build disaster recovery plans, ensuring the availability of mission-critical applications running on our cloud, even in the unlikely event of a widespread regional failure. Customers can already design disaster resilient solutions on Azure, using virtual machines (VMs) (with Azure Site Recovery), Traffic Manager, and data services such as Cosmos DB, SQL Database, and now Azure Redis Cache.

Geo-replication is available at no additional cost for customers using the Premium tier of Azure Redis Cache, as long as they have at least two instances deployed.
For more information, please see the announcement blog post.

Azure SDK for Go—GA

As part of our commitment to support open source technologies, we recently announced the general availability of the Azure SDK for Go, available for free on GitHub.

Go is a popular, efficient language for writing cloud applications. Azure provides many managed services that you can integrate to make development of any application more efficient. Now you can combine the benefits of both and easily provision and use Azure services from Go software using the Azure SDK for Go. Already used in production by the likes of Kubernetes, Terraform, and other popular cloud platforms and tools, we’re pleased to announce that this collection of libraries, samples, and documentation is now generally available. Find it on our newly-published Go developer hub.

Microsoft Cloud App Security | Anomaly detection engine enhancements

What are the new enhancements in the threat detection?

Over the last year, we redesigned the threat protection and anomaly detection engine in Microsoft Cloud App Security and Office 365 Cloud App Security, taking advantage of knowledge from Microsoft’s Intelligent Security Graph. Cloud App Security now helps detect the most sophisticated threats in your cloud apps faster. In addition, it allows us to expose more data from our detection engine, to help you speed up the investigation process and contain ongoing threats.

Several new policies have been introduced and each represents a different detection and use-case scenario. All the new policies include learning mechanisms to reduce false positive alerts, so you can focus on what’s most important. These policies will replace our general anomaly detection policies.

Improvements have also been made to the alert investigation capabilities in the activity log with the newly added “User Insights.” Now you can easily understand the suspicious activities the user was performing and gain deeper confidence as to whether the account was compromised.

Learn more

Microsoft Cloud App Security | Multi-instance support in preview

Microsoft Cloud App Security now has the capability to control multiple instances of SaaS apps.

Organizations may use multiple instances of the same cloud applications for different business reasons. Security professionals need to have visibility into each of these instances and have the option to control each one. We’re happy to announce that Microsoft Cloud App Security can now support and control multiple instances of cloud apps.

Learn more about this new feature.

Azure Active Directory (AD) | Manage Application Proxy with PowerShell

Faster Application Deployment in Azure Active Directory

You can now use PowerShell to manage deployment of your Azure AD Application Proxy. This new capability allows you to deploy your on-premises applications more quickly and manage them more easily. For example, if you’re deploying several Application Proxy applications and want to automate the process, you now do this with PowerShell. Using these cmdlets will also help you build and maintain a standardized and predictable process for deploying Application Proxy applications in your environment. To learn more about the PowerShell commands and Azure AD Application Proxy, visit our blog.

Azure AD | Naming policy for Office 365 Groups

The Office 365 groups naming policy in now in preview. Use this new feature to enforce consistent naming conventions for Office 365 groups across its associated workloads, and block specific words from being used in group names and aliases. A naming policy can help you and your users identify which department, office, or geographic region the group was created from. It can also help identify a group in the global address list, and block inappropriate words in the group names.

Learn more in this blog post.

Virtual Network service endpoints for Azure SQL Database| GA

Virtual Network Service Endpoints for Azure SQL Database is now generally available in all Azure regions. This ability allows you to isolate connectivity to your logical server from only a given subnet or set of subnets within your virtual network. The traffic to Azure SQL Database from your virtual network will always stay within the Azure backbone network. This direct route will be preferred over any specific routes that take internet traffic through virtual appliances or on-premises.

There’s no additional billing for virtual network access through service endpoints. Current pricing model for Azure SQL Database applies as is.

Virtual Network service endpoints for SQL Data Warehouse continues to be in preview in all Azure regions.

Azure security and operations management | Log alerts for Application Insights in preview

Application Insights is an extensible Application Performance Management (APM) service for web developers building and managing apps on multiple platforms. Customers use Application Insights to monitor live web applications, detect performance anomalies, diagnose issues, and understand usage patterns. You can now monitor log files by setting up a query to run at specified intervals and trigger alerts based on the result. For example, let’s say you deployed a new fix for a specific exception and want to make sure it doesn’t surface again. You can now setup an alert to trigger if that exception appears in your Application Insights trace file.

Learn more about this new development in this blog post.

Backup for Azure File Shares | Preview

We are happy to announce the Public Preview of Backup for Azure File Shares, a native backup solution for the SMB supported cloud file shares. Using Recovery Services Vault, customers can now backup their Azure File shares. This Zero-Infrastructure solution enables scheduled backups with user defined retention.

This blog post provides more details on this feature. Find additional information in the documentation page.