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Azure IoT Turbocharged Adds New Azure Stream Analytics Features and More

Solutions fueled by the Internet of Things (IoT) must track real-time data coming from devices and take action when they detect troubling patterns, and this capability is referred as “Stream Processing.”

And many Azure IoT customers use Azure Stream Analytics to meet those needs, tapping a number of recently announced features to turbocharge their IoT solutions.

The features include native support for geospatial functions, custom code with JavaScript, low-latency dashboards and others.

  • Native support for geospatial functions helps developers build solutions for connected car, connected fleet management and related “things that move” scenarios. More than 100 customers including NASCAR have already been using these geospatial capabilities in preview to define geographical areas, evaluate incoming geospatial data for containment, proximity and overlap, and generate alerts or easily kick off necessary workflows.
  • Custom code with JavaScript now enables more advanced scenarios. Customers can write their custom code in JavaScript and easily invoke it as part of their real-time stream processing query.
  • Low-latency dashboards offer an improved experience for solutions built using Azure Stream Analytics. High-volume, streaming data analytics can now be output to Microsoft Power BI with significantly lower latency.
  • Job diagnostics logs simplify self-service troubleshooting. Customers now have a systematic way to deal with lost, late or malformed data — and to investigate errors caused by bad data.
  • Visual Studio integration with Azure Stream Analytics is also available in public preview, writes Azure team.

In other VS news, deployment for “113 sprint improvements” for Visual Studio Team Services by February 15, writes Brian Harry. “Among other things, there’s a bunch of nice improvements to the Pull Request experience – we continue to refine and evolve it,” Harry says.

There is also a version 2 “overhaul of the package management UI (user interface),” he says. “We think it’s more responsive and simpler. We certainly appreciate any feedback you have. For now it is an ‘opt-in’ experience. Eventually, it will become the default experience.”

Visual Studio project template for developing C++ applications targeting Nano Server is now available on Visual Studio Marketplace, and is “compatible with both Visual Studio 2015 and 2017.”

Just search on “nano”. While, the core is identical to last years release, the following updates are included with this release:

  • template can be deployed seamlessly from within Visual Studio as it is available on the VS Gallery.
  • same remote debugging experience, enabled using cmdlets, is available upon installing the PowerShell SDK for Nano from the PowerShell Gallery.
  • sample application builds cleanly out of the box on current versions of Visual Studio as it targets the Windows 10 Anniversary Update SDK (10.0.14393.0) by default. To target a different SDK, right-click the solution name in Solution Explorer and choose “Retarget Solution”.

Check out the following GIF, to see how quick and easy it is to deploy the template from within the IDE:

Nano Server Native Project Template now on Visual Studio Gallery
Nano Server Native Project Template now on Visual Studio Gallery

The preview of Always On Availability Groups for Linux in SQL Server v.Next supports allow apps to meet rigorous business continuity requirements, is now available on all Linux OS distributions v.Next supports — Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

‘Always On Availability Groups’ is SQL Server’s flagship solution for High Availability and Disaster Recovery (HA/DR) solutions. “It provides High Availability for groups of databases on top of direct attached storage, supporting multiple active secondary replicas for integrated HA/DR, automatic failure detection, fast transparent failover, and read load balancing,” writes SQL Server team.

Following HADR solution are available on Linux as well:

  • Multidatabase failover – an availability group supports a failover environment for a set of user databases, known as availability databases.
  • Fast failure detection and failover – as a resource in a highly available cluster, an availability group benefits from built-in cluster intelligence for immediate failover detection and failover action.
  • Transparent failover using availability group listener – enables client to use single connection string to primary or secondary databases that does not change in case of failover.
  • Multiple sync/async secondary replicas – an availability group supports up to eight secondary replicas. The availability mode determines whether the primary replica waits (synchronous replica) or not (asynchronous replica) to commit transactions on a database until a given secondary replica has written the transaction log records to disk.
  • Manual/automatic failover with no data loss – failover to a synchronized secondary replica can be triggered automatically by the cluster or on demand by the database administrator.
  • Active secondary replicas available for read/backup workloads – one or more secondary replicas can be configured to support read-only access to secondary databases and/or to permit backups on secondary databases.
  • Automatic seeding – SQL Server automatically creates the secondary replicas for every database in the availability group.
  • Read-only routing – SQL Server routes incoming connections to an availability group listener to a secondary replica that is configured to allow read-only workloads.
  • Database level health monitoring and failover trigger – enhanced database-level monitoring and diagnostics.
  • Disaster Recovery configurations – with Distributed Availability Groups or multisubnet availability group setup, the team writes.
HADR with Always On Availability Groups in SQL Server v.Next
HADR with Always On Availability Groups in SQL Server v.Next

A new Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the next version of SQL Server v.Next, is available on both Windows and Linux.

Key CTP 1.3 enhancement is the Always On Availability Groups on Linux, mentioned above. Additional feature enhancements included in CTP 1.3:

  • Full text search is now available for all supported Linux distributions.
  • Resumable online index rebuilds enables users to recover more easily from interruption of index builds, or split an index build across maintenance windows.
  • Temporal Tables Retention Policy support enables customers to more easily manage the amount of historical data retained by temporal tables.
  • Indirect checkpoint performance improvements. Indirect checkpoint is the recommended configuration for large databases and for SQL Server 2016, and now it will be even more performant in SQL Server v.Next.
  • Minimum Replica Commit Availability Groups setting enables users to set the minimum number of replicas that are required to commit a transaction before committing on the primary.
  • For SQL Server v.Next technical preview running on Windows Server, encoding hints in SQL Server Analysis Services is an advanced feature to help optimize refresh times with no impact on query performance.

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