New Azure services and updates expand openness, choice and flexibility

Azure Regions

One of the core tenets of Microsoft Azure’s strategy is to build an open platform that gives developers flexibility in building applications using technologies of their choice. Today we are excited to announce new services and updates that affirm our commitment to enabling developers build innovations how they want.

Azure DocumentDB in public preview

Developers today want to build web and mobile applications that leverage user-generated data, gaming data and social content, supporting multiple platforms and multiple concurrent versions or data exchange between multiple applications. They want these applications to deliver high-scale and reliable performance. NoSQL has emerged as the leading database technology to address these needs. Available today in preview, Azure DocumentDB is a managed NoSQL document database-as-a-service that provides the benefits of a NoSQL document database but also adds the query processing and transaction semantics common to relational database systems.

Azure DocumentDB along with existing NoSQL offerings from MongoDB, MongoLabs, Nodejitsu, Redis, and RavenHQ available in the Azure Store now give customers expanded choice for these scenarios.

DocumentDB is available in the Azure Preview portal . For more information, visit the DocumentDB webpage.

Azure HDInsight support for Apache HBase™ generally available

Apache HBase is now a generally available feature of HDInsight. Apache HBase is a NoSQL database component of the Apache Hadoop ecosystem.  With this capability you can now write web transactions or sensor data into Azure Blob storage and analyze them with the power of HDInsight.

For more information, visit the getting started guide.

VM Depot in Azure Gallery

Today, we are taking the next step in community-driven VM Depot images by bringing in VM Depot open source images into the Azure Preview Portal and the Azure gallery.  You can now find close to 300 pre-configured Virtual Machine images spanning base operating system distributions (such as Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, Suse and FreeBSD) through developer stacks (such as LAMP, Ruby on Rails, Node and Django), to complete applications (such as WordPress, Drupal and Apache Solrfor Microsoft Azure. You get all this in an integrated Azure Gallery experience.

Azure Search in preview

Search has become a natural way for users to interact with applications that manage volumes of data.  However, managing search infrastructure at scale can be difficult and time consuming and often requires specialized skills and knowledge. Azure Search is a fully-managed search-as-a-service that customers can use to integrate complete search experiences into applications and connect search results to business objectives through fine-tuned, ranking profiles. If you are building a web or mobile application for e-commerce using social or user generated content, you do not have to worry about the complexities of deploying, maintaining or managing a search infrastructure.

With Azure Search, developers can use the Azure portal or management APIs to increase or decrease capacity in terms of queries per second and document count as load changes, delivering a more cost effective solution for search scenarios.

Azure Search is available in the Azure Preview portal. For more information, visit the Search webpage.

Continued cloud expansion and services innovation

Expanding choice for our customers is not only about the technology and development platform. It is also about how you purchase. We are also excited to announce that we are now adding 51 new countries where customers can use credit cards to purchase Azure and deploy services on our global datacenter footprint.

We also announced several exciting feature updates to Azure Websites, API Management and Virtual Machines today. To learn more about all these updates and several others, visit Scott Guthrie blog.