• 3 min read

Azure: The cloud for any app and every developer

Today we're announcing new technologies and capabilities that advance our mission to make Azure the preferred cloud for any app and every developer -- from back-end cloud services to higher level platform services, to the development process itself.

At Microsoft, our vision for Azure is to enable every developer to be able to create, deploy and manage any application in the cloud, regardless of the tools, technology, architecture or platform they prefer. We continue to innovate in delivering services on Microsoft Azure, often in close partnership with leading innovators across many technologies, to ensure open source and third party offerings have first-class support on Azure. Today we're announcing new technologies and capabilities that advance our mission to make Azure the preferred cloud for any app and every developer — from back-end cloud services to higher level platform services, to the development process itself.

For building highly scalable back-end services in the cloud many developers are turning to microservice architectures. The independent nature of these microservices offers superior application lifecycle management, performance at scale, 24×7 availability and cost efficiency compared with traditional monolithic architectures for service based apps. Today, we’re announcing the public preview of Azure Service Fabric, Microsoft’s platform for developing and operating microservice-based applications. Service Fabric also brings new innovations to microservice development with support for reliable, stateful services for low-latency partitioned data access at scale, and the Actor programming model which drastically simplifies building high-scale microservice applications.

We’ve already seen strong interest in Service Fabric with over 300 customers and partners already building on the platform during the private preview. With the availability of public preview in Azure, you can now explore the scale-out potential of Service Fabric combined with dedicated Visual Studio tooling. Today, Service Fabric is available on Azure and will extend to Windows Server, Linux and other cloud providers next year providing application portability and hybrid scenarios. To get started, download the SDK, check out our getting started videos and documentation and deploy your application to a cluster live in Azure.

For developers who want to build powerful, enterprise grade web and mobile apps that connect to data in the cloud or on-premises, Azure App Service is a highly productive platform for building scalable apps in .NET, NodeJS, PHP, Python or Java as well as engaging mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows. Azure App Service is one of our most popular Azure services used by more than 60% of customers to host over 700,000 apps. Building on this success, today we announced new capabilities in Azure App Service including:

  • Single sign-on using EasyAuth across all app types making authentication easy, everywhere
  • Code-free interface and data design for rapid development of data-driven Node.js apps
  • API app innovations extended to all app types, eliminating the need for an API gateway

You can try Azure App Service for free today without an Azure subscription.

In addition to developer platforms, the cloud presents many opportunities to improve the development process and how organizations build and test software. Test environments in the cloud have been a great success story, making the most of the unlimited capacity in the cloud and the pay-as-you-go model for spinning up test environments that may only be used periodically. To help IT departments harness this potential in Azure while adding necessary governance and cost controls, today we announced the public preview of Azure DevTest Labs. Azure DevTest Labs is a solution for IT professionals who need to provide test environments for developers in their organization while keeping an eye on cost and resources.

For developers, DevTest Labs provides an easy self-service way to rapidly configure and provision test environments in Azure, without delays associated with procuring hardware or spinning up VMs in a local datacenter. The elastic nature of Azure means that developers can simulate massive environments if required while only paying for resources for the time they are in use. This not only saves money but also improves software quality by opening up testing scenarios that were cost prohibitive, pre-cloud. For IT professionals, DevTest Labs provides governance over the Azure resources that their developers are using as a means to control and monitor costs, for example ensuring developers shut down testing VMs when not in use. For more information on DevTest Labs and getting started with DevTest Labs please visit the team blog.

More and more developers and organizations are making the move to Microsoft Azure because they find it supports the unique way they want to build apps to support their business, without compromising their goals. We’ll be showcasing many more cloud development innovations at the Connect(); event including the new Azure SDK version 2.8 and Azure Storage Explorer.

To learn more, or if you haven't looked at Azure for a while, take a look at the breadth of choice we offer to help you build any app with cloud confidence.