Azure AD B2B Collaboration, Instance Metadata Service, Traffic Search Analytics Now Available

Azure AD provides new capabilities to securely support organizations' growing B2B and B2C connections. New 'State of Hybrid Cloud''research, free Cloud Migration Assessment tool.

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The 2.0 preview of Azure SDK for Node.js offers significant productivity improvements for developers, that include to use async and await in TypeScript or ES2017 environments and more.

Visual Studio Code's rich Intellisense support makes building apps much quicker and more intuitive. And, with pdates to runtime ms-rest and ms-rest-azure, "you can make generic requests to Azure with the authenticated client," writes Azure team.

Aside from existing modules updates, this update includes preview release of 20 new modules:

  • Advisor Management (azure-arm-advisor)
  • Automation Management (azure-arm-automation)
  • Billing Management (azure-arm-billing)
  • Cognitive Services Management (azure-arm-cognitiveservices)
  • Container Registry Management (azure-arm-containerregistry)
  • Customer Insights Management (azure-arm-customerinsights)
  • DocumentDB Management (azure-arm-documentdb)
  • Logic Management (azure-arm-logic)
  • Machine Learning Management (azure-arm-machinelearning)
  • Media Services Management (azure-arm-mediaservices)
  • Operational Insights Management (azure-arm-operationalinsights)
  • Recovery Services Backup Management (azure-arm-recoveryservicesbackup)
  • Recovery Services Management (azure-arm-recoveryservices)
  • Relay Management (azure-arm-relay)
  • Scheduler Management (azure-arm-scheduler)
  • Search Management (azure-arm-search)
  • ServiceFabric Management (azure-arm-servicefabric)
  • ServiceMap Management (azure-arm-servicemap)
  • SQL Management (azure-arm-sql)
  • Storage Import Export Management (azure-arm-storageimportexport)
Azure SDK for Node.js 2.0 preview; code writing improvements
Azure SDK for Node.js 2.0 preview; code writing improvements

Azure Active Directory business-to-business (B2B) collaboration is now generally available, and enable organization using Azure AD to work safely and securely with users from any other organization, even if the partner doesn't have Azure AD or an IT team.

The new feature allows companies to provide partners with access to documents, resources and applications while maintaining control over corporate data.

Here are a few of highlights of the things you can do now:

  • Easily add B2B users to your organization
  • Enable your collaborators to bring their own identity to work with you.
  • Delegate to application and group owners so they can add B2B users directly to any of the thousands of apps that work with Azure AD.
  • Have consistent authorization policies protecting your corporate content across your employees and partners.
  • Use APIs and sample code to easily build applications to onboard your external partners in ways customized to your organization's needs.

For more detail about the new Azure AD B2B Collaboration features, check out this documentation, and take a look at the video below about Azure AD B2B:

The Azure team also has made Europe-based Azure AD business-to-consumer (B2C) directories generally available with expansion of its global presence to now in Asia-Pacific and China.

Azure AD B2C directories in Azure Portal

Azure AD B2C directories in Azure Portal

Azure DocumentDB has always offered the best service level agreement (SLA) in the industry with 99.99 percent guarantees for availability, now it's the only cloud service offering a comprehensive SLA for "availability, throughput, latency and consistency," writes senior program manager.

"At a collection level, we guarantee the throughput for your database collection is always executed according to the maximum throughput you provisioned," he says. When it comes to latency, "Since speed is important, we guarantee that 99 percent of your requests will have a latency below 10ms (milliseconds) for document read or 15ms for document write operations."

The public preview of Instance Metadata Service in Azure's West Central US region is now available, which is a "RESTful endpoint that gives virtual machines (VM) instances to get information regarding its compute, network and upcoming maintenance events."

The endpoint is available at a well-known non-routable IP address (169.254.169.254) that can be accessed only from within the VM.

The data from Instance Metadata Service can help with cluster setup, replica placement, supportability, telemetry, or other cluster bootstrap or runtime needs.

Azure Analysis Services, which is built on the proven analytics engine in Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services is now available in West India.

With Azure Analysis Services "you can host semantic data models in the cloud." The users will then connect to the data models using tools like "Excel, Power BI," and many others to create reports and perform ad-hoc data analysis.

Microsoft has added a lot of great new features to Azure Data Factory, including high demanding features like loading data from "SAP HANA, SAP Business Warehouse (BW) and SFTP." It also includes performance enhancement of directly loading from "Data Lake Store into SQL Data Warehouse, data movement support for the first region in the UK (UK South)," and a new Spark activity for rich data transformation.

The complete list of Azure Data Factory March new capabilities include:

  • Support data loading from SAP HANA and SAP DW
  • Support data loading from SFTP
  • Performance enhancement of direct loading from Data Lake Store to Azure SQL Data Warehouse via PolyBase
  • Spark activity for rich data transformation
  • Max allowed cloud Data Movement Units increase
  • UK data center now available for data movement

Azure Search has received today a new version of "Search Traffic Analytics," that will provide actionable insights about search application.

With this tool, answer to common questions, like "most clicked documents or most common queries that don't result in clicks," will be easily provided, alongwith evidence for other situations, like "deciding on the effectiveness of a new UI layout or tweaks on the search index," writes the team.

Azure Search Traffic Analytics
Azure Search Traffic Analytics

Cloudera Enterprise Data hub is now available through the Microsoft Azure Government Marketplace, enabling customers to quickly launch, run, and scale production Hadoop clusters that meet emanding data workloads.

Also, Cloudera Cent OS Quick Start Templates can be use to deploy to Azure Government.

Features offered by this integration include:

  • Rapid Time-to-Insight: By running Cloudera Enterprise on Azure, enterprises can leverage power of Hadoop and produce rapid times-to-insight. Cloudera's robust enterprise data hub allows customers to bypass prolonged infrastructure selection and procurement processes.
  • Scalable Data Management by allowing customers to eliminate the time spent adding new nodes to traditional data clusters, shortening rest-to-growth cycles and helping their businesses grow as quickly as possible.
  • Efficiency and Cost Savings as organizations can shift resources previously dedicated to maintaining a traditional data center and focus on core competencies, thus improve efficiency, gain competitive advantages, and create cost savings, writes the team.

Pivotal Cloud Foundry's 1.10 now supports Java and .NET, with the new Spring Cloud Sleuth, which can be used for many different apps across frameworks.

Many companies are considering a hybrid cloud strategy, and to better help them, a new "2017 State of Hybrid Cloud" research report from Microsoft digs deeper into the numbers behind hybrid cloud adoption.

Also a new and free "Cloud Migration Assessment" tool, that help to discover and analyze hardware configurations of the servers across IT environment, and provides a detailed report including the estimated cost benefits of moving to Azure, is available as on today.

Also, starting today, "Azure Hybrid Use Benefit" can be directly activate in the Azure Management Portal, that save you up to 40% with Windows Server licenses that include Software Assurance. All customers can use this easy provisioning experience to save money on Windows Server virtual machines in Azure.

A new experience for Azure Site Recovery rolling out in the coming weeks, will allow tagging virtual machines within the Azure portal itself. "This capability will make it more easier than ever to migrate your Windows Server virtual machines."

"Azure Site Recovery, helps to migrate virtual machines to Azure, whether they're running on AWS, VMware, Hyper-V or on physical servers. "

Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2015 Update 4 (TFS 2015.4) is now available, and includes fixes for commonly reported customer issues, writes Brian Harry, corporate vice president for Cloud Developer Services.

It "will likely be the last release in the TFS 2015 line," Harry says. "TFS 2017 shipped almost six months ago and we are already hard at work on TFS 2017 Update 2."

Microsoft on May 2, holding an event where we'll "learn what's next." The company is likely talk about the Windows 10 Cloud, a version of the OS that only runs apps from the Windows Store. It's touted to be a competitor to Google's Chrome OS.

It's also likely possible that Microsoft show off the new Surface Pro 5.

It starts at 9:30am ET on May 2.