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New Authentication Reduces Visual Studio Sign-in Prompts; HTTP/2 On Akamai Azure CDN

So have you ever felt that Visual Studio makes you sign in way too often. Well no more, as on August 15, 2016, developers will have fewer sign-in when accessing their development tools through Visual Studio.

In a announcement today, Microsoft said it has completed the deployment of some improvements that “allow users to safely stay signed in and eliminate the forced sign-in every 12 hours.”

The keychain released with Visual Studio 2015 made it possible to manage multiple identities in VS and gave you single sign-on across the IDE.

“This addresses the most commonly reported sign-in issue. “

John Montgomery, director of program management for Visual Studio expalined that “In the last few updates, they’ve made changes to core services like licensing and roaming, which allow refreshing of license or roam your settings for up to a year or more without a prompt for credentials.”

“The next time you’re prompted to sign-in, Visual Studio will follow the new authentication flow that lets you stay signed into the IDE without reentering your credentials every 12 hours,” he said.

Adding, “this server-side fix is compatible with all Visual Studio versions that support Azure development back to VS 2012 though the improvements and bug fixes described above will give you the best results on the latest version,” Montgomery explains.

Further Montgomery notes that they’ve also “updated the Windows Store publishing features to use the keychain for single sign-on with the rest of the IDE.”

“Still, if you developed against Azure using a Microsoft account (e.g. @outlook.com, @hotmail.com, or @live.com) as many of us with MSDN subscription credits do, Visual Studio prompted you to sign in every 12 hours to access Azure resources from the IDE,” he said.

In another news, HTTP/2 is now available to all customers with Azure CDN from Akamai.

This feature is on by default, and all existing and new Akamai standard profiles (enabling from Azure portal) can benefit from it with no additional cost.

For those not aware, “HTTP/2 improves webpage loading speed and optimizes user experience.” All major web browsers already support HTTP/2 today.

Though this protocol is designed to work with HTTP and HTTPS, “most of the browsers only support HTTP/2 over TLS.”

Key HTTP/2 benefits include:

  • “Multiplexing and concurrency: Allow multiple requests sent on the same TCP connection
  • Header compression: Reduce header size for faster transfer time
  • Stream prioritization and dependencies: Prioritize resources to transfer important data first
  • Server push (not supported currently): Allow server to “push” responses proactively into client caches,” explained the Azure team.

The Azure team notes, that in next few months, they will work on HTTP2 support for Azure CDN from Verizon.

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