New Azure AD Deployment Guides for Retailers, Azure IoT Gateway SDK Now Support Azure Functions

Database collation support for Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Microsoft Cloud Services Due Diligence Checklist, Azure App Service preview improves Node.js and PHP developer experience.

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The open source Azure IoT Gateway Software Development Kit (SDK) now supports Azure Functions.

With this integration, developers can easily call cloud-based logic from their IoT gateway.

"Azure IoT Gateway SDK supports everything from low-level modules written in C to connect the broad variety of deployed devices, to high level modules for productivity such as new Azure Functions support," wrties azure team.

Probably, the best part of the Azure IoT Gateway SDK is it's easy way to chain these modules together to create reusable processing pipelines that suit your needs.

If something goes wrong in your field gateway environment, such as local devices that can't connect or that misbehave, and you want to upload diagnostic information to your Azure IoT solution for inspection by operations, the new Functions integrations makes this simple. "Just create an Azure Function that takes this data, stores it and alerts operations – and then call it from your gateway running the Azure IoT Gateway SDK when you encounter a problem," explains team.

New Azure AD Deployment Guides for the retail industry available now offer best practices, lists of pre-requisites for successful deployments and proposed architectural designs based on varying levels of productivity and security needs.

In addition, Microsoft is also getting ready its partners around the world, to help large retailer with pilots and production deployments using these best practices. Microsoft will back-stop each of them, giving them a direct line into its engineering team.

Many of the world's largest retailers are Azure AD Premium customers that need to provide a unique digital identity to every user and device across their organization.

"To make sure these important customers can succeed, service enhancements targeted specifically at their needs are made including:

  • Managing identity lifecycle for hundreds of thousands of employees,
  • providing easy and secure access to retail specific apps and protecting all types of users,
  • apps and devices (shared, company owned and BYOD)," writes Alex Simons.

Azure AD Deployment Guides for the Retail industry

Now when you create a new Azure SQL Data Warehouse database, you can "change the default database collation from the Azure portal", Microsoft announced today.

This new capability makes it even easier to "create a new database using one of the 3800 supported database collations for SQL Data Warehouse," database team said.

"Collations" if you're not aware "provide the locale, code page, sort order and character sensitivity rules for character-based data types. Once chosen, all columns and expressions requiring collation information inherit the chosen collation from the database setting."

The default inheritance can be "overridden by explicitly stating a different collation for a character-based data type," team said.

Additionally, you can use commands to see what has been added to list all the supported collations and checking which one is currently selected:

SELECT * FROM sys.fn_helpcollations();

Database collation support for Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Microsoft is also offering up free accounts with $200 worth of credit towards Azure services. With this freebies, you can provision "up to 14 virtual machines, 40 SQL databases, or 8 TBs of storage for a month," Microsoft said.

Additionally, you can build web, mobile, and API apps that use Redis Cache, Search, or Content Delivery Network. You can also create real-time Internet of Things (IoT) apps with monitoring and anomaly-detection. And, or harness big data with Machine Learning, Streaming Analytics, and Hadoop.

For what presumably is a limited time offer, customers interested in, can take the service for a spin visit HERE.

Azure $200 credit

Microsoft is also introducing today a new Cloud Services Due Diligence Checklist, aimed to help customers make better cloud migration decisions.

Organizations are becoming increasingly familiar with the benefits of cloud computing, but the process of migrating can be daunting, regardless of the company's size, industry or sector.

Today's news is important for all organizations evaluating cloud services. Even companies that are already managing multiple, complex business processes in the cloud, "process of contracting with and managing multiple providers can be challenging and inconsistent. This is where this checklist is helpful," explains Microsoft, adding, because it:

  • "Provides an entry point for newly published ISO/IEC 19086-1 standard
  • Enables key internal decision-makers' involvement in evaluation process, which increases consistency and efficiency and helps base decisions grounded in sound reasoning;
  • Simplifies comparison of offerings from different cloud service providers through a set of questions with consistent terms and definitions for each provider," microsoft added.

For more information on the Cloud Services Due Diligence Checklist, visit this page.

A preview is now available that introduces native Linux support for Node.js and PHP stacks.

With this preview, you can now choose Linux as an alternative to Windows as the base platform, "making web applications run on Linux natively instead of Windows," "making it easier to work directly with .htaccess files" or "avoid using modified extensions or code," Microsoft explained.

This includes streamlined deployment abilities with deployment slots, custom domains, SSL configuration, continuous deployment and horizontal and vertical scaling.

Microsoft also note that Azure App Service that entered general availability as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) for web and mobile developers in the March of 2015 —now has "more than 350,000 active customers" and "more than one million active applications hosted on Azure."

Additionally, it also includes support for the PHP, Node.js, Java and Python stacks as well as a number of open source web products.

In addition, the MySQL in-app for quickly spinning up MySQL dev/test stacks on App Service that was announced in August of this year, "a similar MySQL dev/test capability as part of the Linux preview is available as well," writes azure team.

Azure offers many solutions for hosting MySQL, including:

  • "ClearDB managed MySQL solutions including ClearDB database and ClearDB Clusters
  • Marketplace solutions for MySQL, MariaDB and other MySQL-compatible solutions from partners like Bitnami and MariaDB
  • Community-contributed Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates deploying on VMs
  • MySQL on virtual machine on Linux or Windows OS," azure team writes.

A video recap of Ignite 2016 conference of the multiple new capabilities announced for Microsoft Operations Management Suite is published.

The new MOM suite is designed to help you gain visibility, increase control, speed response to security issues, and increase availability, the new offerings give you expanded options for managing your hybrid cloud.

Finally, Microsoft also made available following white papers include guidance for on the nuances for customers to be aware of when interacting with government or regional authorities as it relates to adopting Azure cloud services.

The papers are available for US law enforcement, US education, UK G-cloud, and Cloud services in Germany, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Australia.

Below's a short summary of most recently produced white papers: