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E-books on the cloud and Azure


Deepen your understanding of cloud computing with these resources for business leaders and technical professionals.

Analytics Lessons Learned: How Four Companies Drove Business Agility

See how four real-world companies used their data to make timely, informed business decisions that boosted operational efficiency, improved fraud detection, predicted necessary maintenance, and drove customer satisfaction.

A Developer’s Guide to Building AI Applications, Second Edition

Begin creating powerful, intelligent apps in the cloud using AI. Learn to build a conversational virtual assistant that understands language, perceives vast amounts of information, and responds intelligently.

Modernize Web Apps: Five Stories of Creating Better Customer Experiences

Find out how five leading organizations improved online customer experiences by migrating their on-premises web apps and databases to Azure. Plus, learn how to quickly begin moving your own apps to Azure.

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Invest in App Innovation to Stay Ahead of the Curve—Increase business agility and reduce technical debt through app innovation

Get tips and techniques to create new business value with app innovation—the  transformation of your organization’s systems, processes, products, and customer experiences. Read Invest in App Innovation to Stay Ahead of the Curve to explore:

  • Lessons learned from Microsoft customers that have worked on digital transformation projects.
  • Maximizing investments in system and app development, management, and maintenance to focus on critical challenges. 
  • Key digital transformation topics, such as approaches to common app innovation challenges like limited agility and high technical debt. 

Keystone - The Culture of Data Leaders

Get the white paper, The Culture of Data Leaders, to explore findings from a Keystone Strategy survey of over 150 companies—including manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, retail, and software organizations. Learn how these organizations used data and technology to enable digital transformations that helped them achieve better revenue and better growth performance.

See the strategies that these companies used successfully and get insights on how to:

  • Help everyone at your organization adopt a learning mindset.
  • Use faster data insights to position your organization ahead of competitors.
  • Build a data-driven culture that gives your organization a competitive edge.

Succeeding with AI: How to Make AI Work for Your Business

Learn how to select and manage AI projects for business success—no engineering background or AI knowledge required. Whether you’re a business leader tasked to deliver results with AI or a data scientist who is business or leadership focused, read Succeeding with AI: How to Make AI Work for Your Business to learn how to bring AI to your organization.

Read the e-book to:

  • Explore the business applications of AI methods.
  • Discover the critical versus nice-to-have elements of a successful AI project.
  • Learn how to facilitate conversations between people with technical and business backgrounds. 

Executive Guide 2022: Insights Technologies

Explore how to get the most from your data to accelerate growth, optimize revenue, and differentiate your products and customer experiences. Read the Forrester report Executive Guide 2022: Insights Technologies to see how to embrace cultural change along with new technology and processes to turn your data into actionable insights.

Learn how to:

  • Create a data center of excellence to ensure alignment across your organization. 
  • Define your data strategy and connect your analytics initiatives to your organization’s priorities. 
  • Build an end-to-end analytics solution that enables your insights to drive decisions, experiences, and actions.

Save on costs and optimize performance with Azure SQL

Migrate and modernize your data estate to lower your total cost of ownership, achieve productivity gains, and accelerate time to market with faster app development cycles. Learn more about the Azure SQL family of services—and find out how to save on costs, achieve flexibility at scale, and meet peaks in demand with an end-to-end solution.

Explore these independent research reports to compare costs and workloads and see why Azure SQL is a market leader.

Azure SQL Managed Instance leads in price-performance for mission-critical workloads

Find out how Azure SQL Managed Instance outperformed Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) in testing done by Principled Technologies. Read the full report for details on how Azure SQL Managed Instance offers up to five times faster performance at a 93 percent lower cost when compared to SQL Server on AWS RDS.1

Read the Principled Technologies report

SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines leads SQL Server on Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2)

Explore this report from GigaOm and see why SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines came out on top in overall speed and price-performance when compared to SQL Server on Amazon EC2. Read how SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines meets mission-critical requirements up to 42 percent faster and costs up to 31 percent less than SQL Server on AWS EC2.2

Read the GigaOm report

For a full breakdown of the benefits and economic value of migrating your on-premises SQL server to Azure SQL, download the infographic, The Economic Value of Azure SQL.

1Price-performance claims based on data from a study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Principled Technologies in April 2022. The study compared performance and price performance between a 16 vCore, 64 vCore and 80 vCore Azure SQL Managed Instance using premium-series hardware on the business-critical service tier and the db.m6i.32xlarge, db.r5b.4xlarge and db.r5b.16xlarge offerings for Amazon Web Services Relational Database Service (AWS RDS) on SQL Server. Benchmark data is taken from a Principled Technologies report using recognized standards, HammerDB TPROC-C, HammerDB TPROC-H and Microsoft MSOLTPE, a workload derived from TPC-E. The MSOLTPE is derived from the TPC-E benchmark and as such is not comparable to published TPC-E results, as MSOLTPE results do not comply with the TPC-E Specification. The results are based on a mixture of read-only and update intensive transactions that simulate activities found in complex OLTP and analytics application environments. Price-performance is calculated by Principled Technologies as the cost of running the cloud platform continuously divided by transactions per minute or per second throughput, based upon the standard. Prices are based on publicly available US pricing in South Central US for Azure SQL Managed Instance and US East for AWS RDS as of April 2022 and incorporates Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server, excluding Software Assurance and support costs. Performance and price-performance results are based upon the configurations detailed in the Principled Technologies report. Actual results and prices may vary based on configuration and region.

2Price-performance claims based on data from a study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by GigaOm in April 2022. The study compared price performance between SQL Server 2019 Enterprise edition on Windows Server 2022 in Azure E32bds_v5 instance type with P30 Premium SSD disks and SQL Server 2019 Enterprise Edition on Windows Server 2022 in Amazon Web Services Elastic Cloud Compute instance type r5b.8xlarge with General Purpose (gp3) volumes. Benchmark data is taken from two tests:

  • The GigaOm Transactional Field Test derived from a recognized industry standard, TPC Benchmark™ E (TPC-E). The Field Test does not implement the full TPC-E benchmark and as such is not comparable to any published TPC-E benchmarks.
  • The GigaOm Analytics Field test derived from the TPC-H Benchmark. The field test does not implement the full TPC-H benchmark and as such is not comparable to any published TPC_H benchmarks.

Prices are based on publicly available US pricing in North Central US for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines and Oregon for AWS EC2 as of April 2022. The pricing incorporates three-year reservations for Azure and AWS compute pricing, and Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server and Windows Server, and License Mobility for SQL Server in AWS, excluding Software Assurance and support costs. Actual results and prices may vary based on configuration and region. 

The Total Economic Impact™ of Microsoft Azure PaaS

Get insights on how to realize cost savings and increase agility at your org from research and interviews with real Azure customers. Check out The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Azure PaaS in this 2022 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting to learn how these customers: 

  • Use the fully managed Azure App Service to keep their developers focused on innovation rather than maintaining infrastructure.
  • Simplify operations with automatic platform maintenance and security patching.
  • Take advantage of the reliability, high availability, and security of their apps through high uptime and global scalability.  

Azure Synapse Analytics Cookbook

Build the skills and confidence to implement Azure Synapse Analytics. Explore how to use it to reduce costs, get industry-leading security, and gain analytics efficiencies with guidance from the e-book, Azure Synapse Analytics Cookbook

Simplify migrating to Azure Synapse using this e-book filled with clear recipes for tasks such as: 

  • Choosing the optimal path to load data into Azure Synapse. 
  • Managing billions of rows of complex data.
  • Modeling and visualizing data using machine learning and AI.
  • Combining your existing services with Azure Synapse.
  • Providing comprehensive data governance and embedded data discovery and classification.

Forrester report: Architect Enterprise Applications and Services for Impact

Discover how to make your business more adaptive by evolving how you work with strategic IT service partners. Read this Forrester report to get architectural and governance guidance to successfully select and manage enterprise applications, platforms, and services.

Learn strategies to:

  • Use modularity and prioritize composability to be able to reconfigure business processes quickly and to proactively forecast change.
  • Cultivate new, democratized work styles by expanding knowledge workers’ skill sets and increasing the growth of citizen developers. 
  • Prioritize adoption of cloud- and service-based architectures—especially software as a service (SaaS) platforms for better scalability and user experience, as well as faster time to value.

Modernize Your Applications with Azure Spring Apps

Find out how to optimize your app management, product development, and IT costs with Azure Spring Apps—a fully managed platform as a service (PaaS) solution. Get this e-book for step-by-step guidance on preparing for the cloud, migrating, and optimizing your apps after the move.

Read Modernize Your Applications with Azure Spring Apps to:

  • Empower your people to spend more time innovating and less time managing workloads.
  • Efficiently manage increased network traffic and help strengthen security—while reducing costs.
  • Choose the right services for your needs, including PaaS solutions, API management services, and container support.
  • Discover best practices for hosting, deploying, and monitoring your apps on Azure Spring Apps.

Cloud Migration and Modernization: Trends for 2023

Learn key insights about the global trajectory of cloud migration and modernization. In this report by Emerald Research group commissioned by Microsoft—based on a survey of over 1,200 IT decision makers—you’ll learn how enterprises are thinking about cloud adoption as part of their digital strategy.  

You’ll also learn why: 

  • Organizations are turning to migration and modernization to support growth, future-proof their businesses, and reduce costs.
  • Optimizing workloads, consolidating vendors, and simultaneously adopting hybrid and multicloud architectures are becoming common strategies. 
  • 82 percent of enterprises view migration as a steppingstone to digital transformation.