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Dec082017

Simplygon Cloud on Microsoft Azure Marketplace Launches

Simplygon, a leader in 3D model optimization based in southern Sweden acquired by Microsoft earlier this year is now ready to bring the benefits of mixed reality to everyone on the cloud as Microsoft on Thursday, launched “Simplygon Cloud on Azure Marketplace.”

To learn how to deploy the Simplygon Cloud virtual machine and start optimizing 3D assets, head over to Marketplace website, or check out the documentation for examples and more information on how to integrate this into a workflow.

With Simplygon, Microsoft brings supports for GLTF, FBX and OBJ file types for ingestion, rendering engines, including Unity 3D and Unreal Engine. Also, it supports all major mixed reality platforms, including Windows Mixed Reality, iOS and Android.

Simplygon reduces complexity in the creation and extensibility of 3D models through optimization—as “it allows you to create 3D assets once at full visual fidelity and automatically optimize them to render smoothly on any platform within minutes, saving valuable time and money,” writes Microsoft.

Simplygon Cloud on Azure Marketplace.

As an example, the above left 3D model of a couch was built with 584,000 polygons, Microsoft explains to render this content on a lower GPU device, “Simplygon optimized this down to 5,000 polygons, which greatly reduces the file size, while maintaining the ideal visual fidelity for the intended device.”

In other Cloud Platform news, this week Microsoft helping you to embrace the cloud with following announcements:

Open Service Broker for Azure (OSBA) and Kashti, two new open source projects making it easier to use containers to modernize and manage new and existing applications to drive digital transformation are now available.

While, the Virtual Kubelet, a dashboard and visualization tool for Brigade pipelines recently announced in Prague at the Open Source Summit, features a pluggable architecture that supports a variety of runtimes, and uses existing Kubernetes primitives, making it much easier to build on.

OSBA is built on the Open Service Broker API, providing a standard way for service providers to expose backing services to applications running in cloud native platforms like Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry. OSBA exposes popular Azure services such as Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Database for PostgreSQL, and Azure Blob Storage. With OSB and the new Kubernetes Service Catalog, customers can manage these SLA-backed Azure data services via the Kubernetes API. Learn more at the OSBA blog and find OSBA at GitHub.

Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances hits the general availability allow you to reserve virtual machines at extremely low prices on Azure with up to 82 percent lower than pay-as-you-go prices with Azure Hybrid Use Benefit, and up to 72 percent savings for all virtual machines (VMs).

Microsoft IoT Central preview, a fully managed IoT SaaS (software-as-a-service) solution makes it easy to create products that connect the physical and digital worlds. Microsoft IoT Central takes the hassle out of managing an IoT solution by removing the management burden, operational costs, and overhead of a typical IoT project.

Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service now available generally enables customers to configure zero-touch device provisioning to Azure IoT Hub, and it brings the scalability of the cloud to what was once a laborious, one-at-a-time process.

With general availability support comes expanded protocol support. Automatic device provisioning with Device Provisioning Service now supports all protocols that IoT Hub supports: HTTP, AMQP, MQTT, AMQP over websockets, and MQTT over websockets.

Azure Virtual Machines M-series generally available now are optimized for large in-memory workloads such as SAP HANA. The new M-series VMs are designed with very high RAM and vCPU capabilities to meet the most demanding environments.

The M-series support up to 128 virtual CPUs (vCPUs) and between 1 tebibyte (TiB) and 3.8 TiB RAM. (Note—3.8 TiB RAM support for the 128 vCPU configuration coming soon.)

In addition, these VM instances support Premium Storage to tackle the largest enterprise workloads.

N-series virtual machines NCv2 and ND series have entered general availability, too and can provide more than two times the computational performance of the current NC-series.

Project Honolulu Preview will add support for managing Windows 10 in a new computer management solution, a new remote desktop tool for connecting directly to targeted machines, along with some performance improvements and bug fixes.

Microsoft is also expanding its strategic partnership with R3 to more deeply integrate R3’s distributed ledger platform, Corda and R3Net, with Azure. Read more here.

Azure Cosmos DB already supports IP-based firewall rules used to limit database access to specific IP addresses, and now it has begun supporting a new firewall rule allowing customers to limit access to their Azure Cosmos DB account from services deployed in Azure.

Azure Cosmos DB Graph API now supports the Apache Tinkerpop recommended Gremlin frameworks gremlin-php.

The Azure Location Based Services Preview provides a portfolio of geospatial service APIs that enable developers, enterprises and partners to create location-aware apps and solutions. Familiar REST APIs and a JavaScript Map Control help enable customers to get their products out the door quickly.

With location and geospatial data becoming increasingly critical for IoT, urban mobility, field service, and logistics use cases, Azure customers will see benefits from having access to integrated capabilities such as:

  • Global maps and map controls.
  • Comprehensive routing options, including commercial scenarios.
  • Geocoding and business search.
  • Dynamic traffic conditions and incidents.
  • Time zone information.

Power BI Desktop new features and updates are now available, including:

  • Esri Plus subscription general availability—The integration of Power BI with ArcGIS has allowed us to redefine how business users experience their data using maps and advanced GIS techniques previously available only in specialized tooling. We’re excited to announce the general availability of the new Plus subscription for ArcGIS Maps for Power BI with the November release of Power BI Desktop. The Plus subscription allows users to access more maps, global demographics, verified ready-to-use data, and plot even more locations on their maps for compelling visualizations that give perspective and impact decisions. Learn more about the Esri Plus subscription availability.
  • Enhancements to reporting capabilities—Continued improvements to reporting including, for example, rule-based conditional formatting for table and matrix, cell alignment for table and matrix, control visual ordering through the selection pane, lock objects on your report, and filtering performance improvements.
  • Additional custom visuals—New custom visuals are now available, including Image Timeline, Social Network Graph, Venn Diagram, and HTML Viewer.
  • Improvements to analytics and data connectivity—Power BI now supports cell-level formatting for multi-dimensional AS models for a multi-row card, Windows Authentication for the Impala connector, and generating conditional columns transforms as part of the “Add Column From Examples” experience. Download the latest Power BI Desktop to experience the new features immediately.

Power BI users can seamlessly distribute Power BI apps and dashboards to guest users outside of their organization—recipients are able to securely sign into the service using their own organization’s security credentials or personal email address, while the content owner is able to maintain control over the internal data.

This new feature is the result of Power BI integration with Azure Active Directory (AD) business-to-business (B2B) collaboration. Read more about this integration.

Here’s a quick summary if you aren’t caught up with the latest buzz:

  • Selective publish for Power BI apps
  • External user distribution with Azure Active Directory B2B
  • Improved workspace management with Premium
  • AI-powered app recommendations
  • Dashboard on-tile updates
  • E-mail subscriptions for apps
  • Single-sign on for SQL Server, Teradata, and SAP HANA
  • High availability for gateways and more in the November on-premises update
  • Granular control for Publish to Web

Azure SQL Database engine features are now generally available. The Resumable online index rebuild feature allows the ability to pause an operation and resume it later from where the rebuild operation was paused or failed.

A new update to Visual Studio 2017 Version 15.6 Preview is now available and reduces project load time, letting you spend more time coding and less time waiting. Also, it’s now easier to modify your Visual Studio installation by enabling modification through Add & Remove Programs.

For new features, an updated mobile app tooling with Xamarin.iOS 11.4 and Xamarin.Android 8.1, and enabling Xamarin Live which lets you continuously deploy, test, and debug your apps directly on iOS and Android devices. Also, multiple language improvements to the C++, C#, and F# languages are introduced as well.

For Visual Studio Enterprise 2017 users, enhancements to Live Unit Testing and enabled step-back while debugging with IntelliTrace for specific project types. Also, you can now use Snappoints and Logpoints to debug ASP.NET and ASP.NET Core applications running in Azure App Services.

Visual Studio 2017 v15.6 Diagnostics

Visual Studio for Mac version 7.3 update for mobile developers makes the iOS development experience smoother with Fastlane integration to automatically set up devices for development and provisioning.

It also fully now supports new iOS 11, tvOS 11, and watchOS 4 APIs. The Visual Studio for Mac updater will now also update previous installations of .NET Core to 2.0. Finally, VSTest support gives Visual Studio for Mac developers an integrated experience for a wide array of popular test frameworks, including MSTest and Xunit.

The highlights of this release are:

  • Visual Studio Test Platform (VSTest) support. Visual Studio for Mac now supports a wider variety of test frameworks through the integration of VSTest, giving developers more choice in the test frameworks they want to use. Frameworks such as MSTest or xUnit can now be used within Visual Studio for Mac via NuGet adapter packages.
  • New Roslyn based refactorings. The editor in Visual Studio for Mac has improved support for refactoring, helping developers write more maintainable code. “Generate From Usage”, “Change Method Signature”, and “Extract Interface” are now offered as refactorings within C# code.
  • Updater support for .NET Core. Visual Studio for Mac will now check to see if the .NET Core 2.0 SDK is installed when checking for updates. If not, developers can easily download and install it via the Visual Studio Update dialog instead of the previous manual installation.
  • Automatic iOS app signing. Visual Studio for Mac now offers automatic signing of iOS apps, boosting developer productivity by reducing the number of manual steps required to prepare iOS apps for distribution.

System Center Configuration Manager update brings co-management, which enables a new and more practical path to transition the management of Windows 10 devices to a modern management approach.

Starting with the Anniversary Update (June, 2016), a Windows 10 device can be joined to on-premises Active Directory and cloud-based Azure AD at the same time. Co-management takes advantage of this improvement and enables the device to be managed by both ConfigMgr agent and Intune MDM. This allows organizations to move specific workloads of their management to the cloud in manageable chunks. For example, customers can transition device compliance check, resource access policies, or Windows 10 update management from ConfigMgr to Intune while continuing to use ConfigMgr for other workloads such as software distribution and deep device security configuration.

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