Azure SQL Database Previews Bigger Storage, Better Portal Experience

Now available in preview ability to manage policies through Azure portal, and users can add parameters to a policy template.

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Two new features bolster Microsoft Azure resource policies, users now have the ability to manage policies through the Azure portal, shortening the learning curve for creating policies. This feature is now available in preview.

Another new feature let users add parameters to a policy template. This feature reduces the number of policy definitions users manage.

Azure Service Bus Premium Messaging, which supports broader array of mission-critical cloud apps is now available in the UK.

Azure Service Bus Premium Messaging, which supports a broader array of mission-critical cloud apps, is now available in the U.K. The service also provides all the messaging features of Service Bus queues and topics with predictable, repeatable performance and improved availability.

Azure SQL Database team has announced a preview of its latest service tiers edition, which offers increased storage limits and an enhanced portal experience. This edition also includes the Premium RS tier, which can replay data in the event of a severe system error, writes Jan Engelsberg, Azure SQL Database senior program manager.

The new service-tier choices and larger storage availability give users greater flexibility, Engelsberg writes on the Microsoft Azure Blog.

In addition, a new release of PolyBase in Azure SQL Data Warehouse increases the row width limit from 32 KB to 1 MB. This allows users to ingest wide columns from Windows Azure Blob Storage or from Azure Data Lake Store directly into SQL Data Warehouse.

Public Preview for Microsoft Azure SQL Database Management Pack 6.7.25.0 is now available for download.

Microsoft System Center Management Pack (Community Technology Preview 2) for Azure SQL Database here.

Portal Preview of Azure Resource Policy announced on Friday brings the following new features: "Policy management in portal in preview, and Policy with parameters."

"Using the portal reduces learning curve for creating policies and makes managing the policies easier," it's now available in Azure preview portal. "You can configure resource policies for subscriptions and resource groups from the settings menu as well as you can view policies assigned to current subscriptions and resource groups, and add new policy assignments," writes the team.

For common policies, you can use the built-in policies and customize the values you need.

The parameters lets you customize the policy definition, with following two benefits: "Reduce the number of policy definitions to manage," and "Separate access control for policy definition and policy management."

Policy Management in Azure Portal
Policy Management in Azure Portal

The latest additions to Microsoft Linux Data Science Virtual Machine (DSVM) – a custom VM image on Azure built for data science, deep learning and analytics – enable the development and testing of machine learning apps for deployment to distributed scalable platforms such as Spark, Hadoop and Microsoft R Server, for operating on data at a very large scale.

The new DSVM components data scientists and developers can use to build and deploy intelligent apps to big data platforms are: Version 9.0 of Microsoft R Server (MRS), a standalone Spark instance (based on the Apache Spark distribution) and a single node Hadoop installation now built into the VM to make it easier to develop Hadoop programs and/or use HDFS storage locally for development and testing.

Microsoft Linux Data Science Virtual Machine
Microsoft Linux Data Science Virtual Machine

Power BI's 'publish to web' tool empowers nonprofits' by helping to create data stories with stunning, interactive visualizations – and then quickly publish that content.

A prime example is WaterAid, an international organization that provides people around the world with clean water, safe sanitation and hygiene education. Power BI has helped WaterAid monitor data from different geographies. It also enables interactive visuals and friendly tools to transform and analyze key data points.

Another group using the tool is Pact, which works to end poverty and marginalization. Power BI provides Pact with an interactive visualization tool that enables Pact's staff, donors and partners to see results across countries and sectors.

Amazon Redshift connector in Power BI desktop available now allows users to build reports based on their Redshift data. Users can accomplish this task by importing data into the Power BI desktop or via the DirectQuery mode.

New capabilities supporting Redshift-based reports in Power BI now let users publish their reports, unlocking seamless consumption of reports and dashboards based on Redshift data.

New update to Power BI admin portal that provides more control for organizations now available today enable "many of Power BI tenant settings to be managed at a granular level: administrators can now enable or disable different Power BI features for only a subset of users in their tenant," the team wrote.

Power BI admin portal allows administrators to view usage data and set tenant-wide controls over what Power BI features are available to their organization.