Connect Industrial Assets with ProSoft PLX, Loads of New Features Released to B2B

Connect industrial assets with Azure IoT Gateway SDK powered ProSoft PLX, boat load new features in Azure AD B2B Collaboration, Azure Stream Analytics gets Geospatial functions, custom code and more!

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Microsoft makes it simpler to connect legacy industrial devices with ProSoft PLX, which is powered by the Azure IoT Gateway SDK. "The ProSoft PLX gateway communicates directly with Azure IoT Hub through the Azure IoT Gateway SDK in a highly secure manner which scales with the millions of devices a customer may desire to connect," writes senior progam manager.

With these preconfigured solution, businesses can easily monitor, analyze, report on, and create alarms based on the data previously un-connectable devices send to the cloud. Additionally, these devices can get updates for example, to change configuration or settings, from the cloud.

And using ProSoft PLX like gateways, multiple devices can be connected to cloud in minutes, as well as by leveraging remote monitoring capabilities of Azure IoT Suite they also become a true Internet of Your Things (IoT) solution. Working together, ProSoft and Microsoft Azure IoT are helping to lay the groundwork required to unlock the value of data produced in industrial systems.

For example, in the diagram below, you can see business assets connected using a ProSoft PLX running Azure IoT Gateway SDK to a Remote Monitoring Preconfigured Solution.

Diagram: Assests connected using ProSoft PLX and Azure IoT Gateway SDK

Diagram: Assests connected using ProSoft PLX and Azure IoT Gateway SDK

Even more advanced scenarios like edge analytics and responding to device events in real time are on the way from Microsoft and ProSoft.

Azure AD B2B collaboration is a set of capabilities that makes it easy for IT pros and information workers to invite people from any organization in the world to collaborate online. The goal of Azure AD B2B is to enable organizations of all sizes and industries – even those with complex compliance and governance requirements – to work easily and securely with collaborators around the world.

Microsoft pused on a boat load of new enhancements to the public preview of Azure AD B2B Collaboration capabilities with key new features including:

  • UX enhancements to the B2B admin experience, including the ability for admins to invite B2B users to the directory or to any group or application.
  • B2B self-service invitation capabilities in the Access Panel, so information workers can invite B2B users to any self-service group or application they manage.
  • Ability to invite a user with any email address to collaborate. Whether a user has an Office365 or on-premises Exchange email address, an outlook.com email address, or any social email address, he/she can now seamlessly access the invited organization with inline, lightweight creation of an Azure AD or Microsoft Account.
  • Professional, tenant branded invitation emails.
  • The option to build customize onboarding experience using our invitation APIs.
  • The ability to require and provide MFA for B2B guest accounts.
  • Ability to delegate responsibility for inviting B2B guest accounts to non-administrators.
  • PowerShell support for B2B.
  • Auditing and reporting capabilities.
Inviting AD B2B Guest User in new Azure Portal

Inviting AD B2B Guest User in new Azure Portal

Also released along side is an updated and detailed documentation, that help understand the capabilities really well and guide you in using them as efficiently as possible.

The next milestone, that company is working on is to release the service to Generally Availability.

Microsoft also rol out several compelling capabilities in Azure Stream Analytics, such as native support for geospatial functions, custom code with JavaScript. As part of this launch, low latency dashboarding with Power BI, and preview of Visual Studio integration and Job diagnostic logs, also released.

Additionally, effective today there will be no more ingress data throttling, says Azure team.

Native support for Geospatial capabilities are in alignment with the GeoJSON specification—allow customers to build solutions for scenarios such as connected cars, fleet management, and mobile asset tracking with tremendous ease using Azure Stream Analytics.

Support for User defined functions using JavaScript in Azure Stream Analytics let customers write their custom code in JavaScript, and easily invoke it as part of their real-time stream processing query.

Visual Studio tools for Azure Stream Analytics in public preview help maximize end-to-end developer productivity across authoring, testing and debugging Stream Analytics jobs.

Azure Stream Analytics jobs in Visual Studio

Azure Stream Analytics jobs in Visual Studio

Azure Stream Analytics jobs can now output to new Power BI streaming datasets, that enable rich visual and dynamic dashboards with a lot lower latency than what was possible until now.

Also, a preview of Azure Monitoring integration with Stream Analytics' announced today, provides customers a systematic way to deal with lost, late or malformed data while enabling efficient mechanisms to investigate errors caused by bad data.

"Having immediate access to actual data that causes errors helps customers quickly address problem(s). Users will be able to control how the job acts when errors occur in data, and persist relevant event data and operational metadata (eg. occurrence time and counts) in Azure Storage or Azure Event Hubs. This data can be used for diagnostics and troubleshooting offline. Furthermore, data routed to Azure Storage can be analyzed using the rich visualization and analytics capabilities of Azure Log Analytics," explained Azure team.

A preview of Azure Analysis Services, which is built on the proven analytics engine in Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services can use Power BI Desktop to build reports against an Analysis Services server and deploy that report to PowerBI.com.

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

Follow thesesteps to connect and create a report:

  1. Open Power BI Desktop
  2. Click Get Data.
  3. Select Databases/SQL Server Analysis Services, and then click connect.
  4. Enter Azure AS server name, and click OK.
  5. On the Navigator screen, select your model, and click OK. You'll now see your model displayed in the field list on the side. You can drag and drop the different fields on to your page to build out interactive visuals.
Databases/SQL Server Analysis Services

Databases/SQL Server Analysis Services

And to publish to Power BI:

  1. Save the report locally.
  2. Click the Publish button on the Home tab.
  3. Select the destination for your report. This can either be your personal workspace or a group that you are a member of.
  4. Once publishing is complete, click the blue link to view the report in Power BI.

With the deprecation of Azure Access Control Service (ACS), Microsoft has removed all references to ACS from its SDK authentication code, stating, "Effective from versions Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 (v8.1.1) and Microsoft Dynamics 365 (v8.2), we removed Live ID support and ACS dependencies on the server-side."

Additionally, Microsoft.Xrm.Client from CRM 2016 (8.x) SDK client is removed as well, because "it was not compliant with the OAuth changes." This is been replaced with Microsoft.Xrm.Tooling.Connector.

However, you can use current Microsoft Dynamics 365 Software Development Kit (SDK) to access Dynamics CRM back to version 6.x for both auth and messaging. And, when upgrading to Dynamics 365, "make sure to use latest Dynamics 365 Software Development Kit (SDK)," writes Microsoft.

See the diagram below, that outlines current supported matrix for other SDK clients:

Diagram: Dynamics 365 SDK Backwards Compatibility

Diagram: Dynamics 365 SDK Backwards Compatibility.