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  • 6 min read

Microsoft Cost Management updates – July 2022

July brought a new, generally available Cost Details API for on-demand data downloads. If you use cost APIs for automation or integration, you'll want to check that out! We also added three new preview features, four new ways to save, and five documentation updates.

Whether you’re a new student, a thriving startup, or the largest enterprise, you have financial constraints, and you need to know what you’re spending, where, and how to plan for the future. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Microsoft Cost Management comes in.

We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Microsoft Cost Management can help you better understand where you’re accruing costs in the cloud, identify and prevent bad spending patterns, and optimize costs to empower you to do more with less. Here are a few of the latest improvements and updates based on your feedback:

Let’s dig into the details.

Introducing the Cost Details API

You already know you can dig into your cost and usage data from the Azure portal or Microsoft 365 admin center. You may even know that you can export cost data to storage on a recurring schedule. While many organizations use both, some have more ad-hoc requirements where they need an on-demand solution. Traditionally, these organizations would use the Consumption UsageDetails API or the older Enterprise Agreement (EA) APIs. This month, we introduced a new on-demand solution for downloading granular cost details with the new Cost Details API – now generally available for Enterprise Agreement and Microsoft Customer Agreement accounts.

The Cost Details API comes with improved security, stability, and scalability over the UsageDetails API and aligns with the schema already being used by Cost Management exports. If you’re still using the older EA key-based APIs, then you’ll also get additional benefits like a single dataset for all cost data, including Marketplace and reservation purchases, an option to amortize reservation purchases, as well as support for splitting shared costs with cost allocation.

With the general availability of Cost Details this month, the UsageDetails and APIs are in maintenance and will not receive updates. Please migrate to scheduled exports for large accounts with a lot of cost data or to streamline recurring data dumps. If you have requirements that necessitate a more on-demand solution, please migrate to the Cost Details API.

To learn more about the Cost Details API, see Get cost details for a pay-as-you-go subscription. For additional information about when to select Exports or Cost Details, see Choose a cost details solution.

Filter cost recommendations by tag

Nearly every conversation we have with organizations starts with cost optimization and ensuring their workloads are running efficiently. And when it comes to cost optimization, we always tell people to start in Azure Advisor, which gives a great picture of high-confidence recommendations to reduce cost. At the same time, this can be daunting for large teams with resources spread across many resource groups and subscriptions. To help facilitate this, you can now filter your recommendations by tag in Azure Advisor.

Screenshot of the add filter option in Azure Advisor.

With the power of tag filters, you can now get recommendations scoped to a business unit, project, or application to filter recommendations and calculate scores using tags you have already assigned to Azure resources, resource groups, and subscriptions.

To learn more, visit how to filter Advisor recommendations using tags.

How to choose the right Azure services for your applications—It’s not A or B

If you’ve been working with Azure for any period, you might have grappled with the question—which Azure service is best to run my apps on? This is an important decision because the services you choose will dictate your resource planning, budget, timelines, and, ultimately, the time to market for your business. It impacts the cost of not only the initial delivery, but also the ongoing maintenance of your applications.

Read on as Asir Selvasingh and Ajai Peddapanga summarize your options on the Azure blog to get you started on the right foot. They’ll also share details about their new e-book on the subject.

What’s new in Cost Management Labs

With Cost Management Labs, you get a sneak peek at what’s coming in Microsoft Cost Management and can engage directly with us to share feedback and help us better understand how you use the service, so we can deliver more tuned and optimized experiences. Here are a few features you can see in Cost Management Labs:

Of course, that’s not all. Every change in Microsoft Cost Management is available in Cost Management Labs a week before it’s in the full Azure portal or Microsoft 365 admin center. We’re eager to hear your thoughts and understand what you’d like to see next. What are you waiting for? Try Cost Management Labs today. 

New ways to save money in the Microsoft Cloud

Here are new and updated offers you might be interested in:

New videos and learning opportunities

One new video this month for those automating reporting and optimization:

Follow the Microsoft Cost Management YouTube channel to stay in the loop with new videos as they’re released and let us know what you’d like to see next.

Want a more guided experience? Start with Control Azure spending and manage bills with Microsoft Cost Management.

Documentation updates

Here are a few documentation updates you might be interested in:

Want to keep an eye on all documentation updates? Check out the Cost Management and Billing documentation change history in the azure-docs repository on GitHub. If you see something missing, select Edit at the top of the document and submit a quick pull request. You can also submit a GitHub issue. We welcome and appreciate all contributions!

Join the Microsoft Cost Management team

Are you excited about helping customers and partners better manage and optimize costs? We’re looking for passionate, dedicated, and exceptional people to help build best in class cloud platforms and experiences to enable exactly that. If you have experience with big data infrastructure, reliable and scalable APIs, or rich and engaging user experiences, you’ll find no better challenge than serving every Microsoft customer and partner in one of the most critical areas for driving cloud success.

Watch the video below to learn more about the Microsoft Cost Management team:

Join the Commerce Platform and Experiences (CPX) Microsoft Team

Join our team.

What’s next?

These are just a few of the big updates from last month. Don’t forget to check out the previous Microsoft Cost Management updates. We’re always listening and making constant improvements based on your feedback, so please keep the feedback coming.

Follow @MSCostMgmt on Twitter and subscribe to the YouTube channel for updates, tips, and tricks. You can also share ideas and vote up others in the Cost Management feedback forum and help shape the future of Microsoft Cost Management.

We know these are trying times for everyone. Best wishes from the Microsoft Cost Management team. Stay safe and stay healthy.