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Last week in Azure: Location-based services, Azure Migrate, and more

Highlights from last week in Azure for the week of November 27, 2017: Azure Location-Based Services, Azure Migrate, and more.

In addition to several stories and announcements last week related to data and analytics in Azure, we announced two significant public previews. First, at AutoMobility LA, we announced the public preview of Azure Location Based Services, which is a new Azure offering to power the “Location of Things.”  This includes geographical data that can better connect smart cities, infrastructure and IoT solutions, and empower industrial transformation, from manufacturing to retail to automotive – and everything in between. Second, now you can quickly and cost-effectively migrate your on-premises applications, workloads, and databases to the cloud with the Azure migration center, which launched in preview last week. It provides guidance, insights, and mechanisms to assist you in migrating to Azure.


Announcing Azure Location Based Services public preview – Azure Location Based Services (LBS) adds native location capabilities to the Azure public cloud. LBS is a portfolio of geospatial service APIs natively integrated into Azure that enable you to create location aware apps and IoT, mobility, logistics and asset tracking solutions. The portfolio, provided in partnership with TomTom, includes Map Rendering, Routing, Search, Time Zones and Traffic.

Launching preview of Azure Migrate – Azure Migrate, which is now in preview, enables agentless agent-based discovery of VMware-virtualized Windows and Linux virtual machines. This enables dependency visualization, for a single VM or a group of VMs, to easily identify multi-tier applications. It also suggests workload-specific migration services, such as Azure Site Recovery.

Data + Analytics

Technical reference implementation for enterprise BI and reporting – Use this technical reference implementation to accelerate the deployment of a BI and reporting solution to augment your data science and analytics platform on Azure.

Server aliases for Azure Analysis Services – Server aliases for Azure Analysis Services enables you to connect to an alias server name instead of the server name exposed in the Azure portal, which makes it easier to migrate models, create friendly names, and have greater flexibility for managing traffic.

Run your PySpark Interactive Query and batch job in Visual Studio Code – Thanks to the integration of HDInsight PySpark into Visual Studio Code, you can now edit Python scripts and submit PySpark statements to HDInsight clusters and submit PySpark statements to HDInsight clusters in an interactive query-response experience.

Automatic tuning introduces Automatic plan correction and T-SQL management – Automatic tuning in Azure SQL Database now includes automatic plan correction, management via T-SQL, and a new column (auto_created) in the system view to identify indexes created by automatic tuning.

Elastic database tools for Java – An update to the Elastic Database Client Library for Azure SQL database supporting Java that provides tools to help you scale out the data tier of your applications using sharding, including support for multi-tenancy patterns for Software as a Service (SaaS) applications.

Azure Analysis Services integration with Azure Diagnostic Logs – New support for Azure Monitor Resource Diagnostic Logs enables you to run diagnostic logging on production Azure Analysis Services servers without a performance penalty.

ADL Tools for Visual Studio Code (VSCode) supports Python & R Programming – Support is now available in Visual Studio Code for Azure Data Lake (ADL) Python and R extensions to work with U-SQL for data extract, data processing, and data output.


Introducing Azure Automation watcher tasks public preview – Using Azure Automation you can now integrate and automate processes across Azure and on-premises environments using a hybrid worker. Automatically response to events in your datacenter using watcher tasks, which give you the ability to poll systems in your environment with a watcher runbook and then process any events found by calling an action runbook.

Get notified when Azure service incidents impact your resources – The Azure Service Health preview enables you to create and manage alerts for service incidents, planned maintenance, and health advisories. You can also integrate your existing incident management system like ServiceNow®, PagerDuty, or OpsGenie with Service Health alerts via a webhook.

Service Updates

Azure is changing and growing daily. Azure Updates provides a feed of service updates that don’t always come with an announcement blog post.

Azure Shows

Azure Free Account – Amber Bhargava joins Scott Hanselman to discuss the new Azure free account. The new Azure free account provides Azure customers US $200 credit for first 30 days to experiment with a combination of services. Now it also includes 12-months of popular free services and 25+ always free services to learn and explore Azure further.

Durable Functions in Azure Functions – Chris Gillum joins Scott Hanselman to discuss a new extension of Azure Functions known as Durable Functions. Durable Functions is a programming model for authoring stateful, reliable, and serverless function orchestrations using C# and async/await.

The Azure Podcast: Episode 206 – Kubernetes – The guys talk about the rise of Kubernetes and discuss the architecture and how it can be run in Azure.

Cloud Tech 10 – 4th December 2017 – Location Based Services, Azure Migrate and more! – Each week, Mark Whitby, a Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft UK, covers what's happening with Microsoft Azure in just 10 minutes, or less.