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Top 20 Announcements on Serverless Computing at Build 2019


6 Mins Read | Last modified on August 7th, 2023



This blog was prepared by Nadeem and Surya, Serverless360.

Microsoft made a series of announcements on Serverless computing in its recently concluded annual developer conference Build 2019. Here we summarise top 20 announcements for your quick reference

    1. Durable Functions now support a new stateful entities pattern
    2. Durable Functions now supports a new stateful entities pattern which allows you to build stateful Azure Functions that map to an actor. Through this model, functions can hold onto the consumption-based billing model with charges made only when these actor functions are running and not for the idle time while also preserving state and data.

    1. Azure Event Hubs clusters can now be created in the Azure portal
    2. Azure Event Hubs clusters can now be created straight through the Azure portal as a self-serve experience. This single-tenant offering is now available on a dedicated pricing tier and has an assured 99.99 percent SLA.

    1. Inline Code for Azure Logic Apps is in preview
    2. Inline Code

      The new Inline code feature enables developers to write and execute simple ECMAScript (also known as JavaScript) right from within Logic Apps.

    1. Azure Monitor updates
      • Intelligent and scalable alerts – Azure Monitor can now automatically determine the right alert threshold using advanced machine learning algorithms through Dynamic Thresholds capability and is now generally available.
      • End to end monitoring for AKS – Support for live Kubernetes events and extending Application Insights is added to provide a new out of the box application monitoring experience for any AKS hosted app.
      • Integrated access control for logs – Through the role-based access control for logs, you can separate the permissions you have set at a resource level down to the operational logs and simplify governance and policies.
      • Application change analysis – Application change analysis will provide you a centralized view along with the analysis of all the recent changes for different components of a web app and its dependencies.
    1. Azure SQL Database managed instance SKU recommendation for Data Migration Assistant is now available
    2. You can now migrate legacy SQL Server instances to Azure SQL Database managed instances by Expanding the scope of on-premises SQL Server assessments with the new Azure SQL Database SKU recommendation functionality. This feature is used in conjunction with the Data Migration Assistant to recommend the proper cloud database service tier and sizing configuration based on an existing on-premises workload.

    1. Improved distributed tracing of serverless applications built with Functions and API Management
    2. Azure team has improved observability of serverless applications built with Functions and API Management – allowing you to easily monitor, debug, and maintain them with Application Insights. Azure Application Insights can now visualize the relation between API Management and Functions in the “Application map” view – Functions are treated as a backend dependency to API Management.

    1. Expose a Function App via API Management by linking it to a new or existing API
    2. Now, you have a simplified publishing and consumption experience of API-based Function Apps. You can now easily manage them with API Management from the Function Apps’ own interface in the Azure portal.

    1. Azure Functions Premium plan
    2. Premium plan

      It enables a whole new range of low latency and networking scenarios. Learn more about the Premium plan here.

    1. Power shell support in Azure Functions
    2. Power-Shell-Azure-Functions

      It provides a way to tackle cloud automation scenarios which is a common challenge to IT pros and SREs all around the globe.

    1. Bring Azure Functions to Kubernetes with KEDA
    2. KEDA

      There’s no better way to leverage the serverless advantages than using a fully managed service in the cloud like Azure Functions. But some applications might need to run on disconnected environments, or they require custom hardware and dependencies.

    1. Built-in support for Apache Spark in Azure Cosmos DB now in preview
    2. Jupyter notebook

      Built-in support for Apache Spark and Jupyter notebooks in Azure Cosmos DB helps reduce time to insights by ingesting and serving data followed by running analytics against the local database replica in an Azure region. Learn more here.

    1. Azure Cognitive service capabilities that are now generally available
      • Neural Text to Speech applies the latest capability in deep learning innovation. The neural text to speech capability makes the voices of apps nearly indistinguishable from recordings of people.
      • Text analytics named entity recognition (NER) now supports both English and Spanish languages. The update also includes the release of 19 new language models for preview, expanding NER language coverage to a total of 21.
      • Computer vision read extracts text from the most common file types including PDF and TIFF support as well as the ability to read multi-page documents.
    1. Notebook support for all Azure Cosmos DB APIs is in preview
    2. Azure Cosmos DB is enhancing the developer experience by adding notebook support in preview. With notebook experience support for all Azure Cosmos DB APIs, developers can run analytics and transactional processing simultaneously on the same underlying data stored in their database.

    1. Azure Dev Spaces is now generally available for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)
    2. With this update, Team members can now test their code end-to-end without replicating or mocking-up dependencies and can also work on different parts of an application in parallel. It can be progressed in the following development environments like Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, or the command line on Windows, Mac, or Linux.Learn more here.

    1. Authenticated IP for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is now in preview
    2. This feature allows organizations to restrict access to their Kubernetes control plane to specific IP addresses or IP ranges. This also includes an additional layer of security by restricting access to only trusted network locations.

    1. Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) multi-node pool is in preview
    2. This feature allows users to harness different virtual machine sizes in a node pool supporting a variety of workloads in a single AKS cluster.Learn more here.

    1. Azure Cosmos DB API for Etcd in preview
    2. Developers can now get highly reliable, globally distributed and highly available Kubernetes and K8 tools with no code changes or management required with the help of wire-protocol compatible API for Etcd on top of Azure Cosmos DB.

    1. Azure App Service (Linux) support for Python is now available
    2. The Azure App Service on Linux now offers support for Python 2.6, 3.6, and 3.7 versions which also includes a simplified deployment and management experience. It also enables integration with Github, BitBucket, and your local git repos. Read this article to know more.

    1. Dependency injection for .NET applications
    2. .NET developers have been taking advantage of dependency injection (DI) to better architect their applications, and today Azure Functions supports DI written in .NET. This enables simplified management of connections plus dependent services and unlocks easier testability for functions that you author.

    1. Streamlined Azure DevOps experience
    2. With new build templates in Azure Pipelines, you will have the ability to quickly configure your Azure Pipeline with function-optimized tasks to build your .NET, Node.js, and Python applications. Azure Functions deployment task made GA, which is optimized to work with the best deployment option for your function app.

This article was originally published on May 17, 2019. It was most recently updated on August 7th, 2023.

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