Microsoft Launches More Azure Cloud Services at Build Conference

In addition to Azure's new big data processing capabilities, the company announces several new services to facilitate the move to the cloud.

Azure cloud

Azure SQL may have grabbed the big data spotlight at Build yesterday, but Microsoft has more services in store for businesses and developers that are eyeing a cloud-enabled future.

Yesterday during the Build developer conference in San Francisco, Microsoft unveiled Azure SQL elastic databases, Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Azure Data Lake, offerings aimed at helping enterprises extract insights and business value out of their mounting stores of data.

In true cloud-first fashion, the company has more Azure services in store.

The company also launched a public preview Azure Resource Manager Support for Virtual Machines, Storage and Networking, said Vibhor Kapoor, director of product marketing for Microsoft Azure, in an April 29 announcement. "Azure Resource Manager templates enable single click deployments of complex applications into a resource group," he explained. "A resource group can contain all elements of an application and can be managed as a single unit providing granular access control via role based authentication and control (RBAC)."

Users will be able to tag resources to aid in their management and track costs. An initial set of 80 templates are available at the GitHub repository.

In related news, GitHub announced today that the 2.2.0 release of GitHub Enterprise, the business-flavored version of the collaborative development environment, is now supported on Hyper-V, Microsoft's virtualization platform, and Azure.

Added to the list of new previews released at Build was Azure Service Fabric. The service, according to Kapoor, "enables developers and ISVs to build cloud services with a high degree of scalability and customization." The offering "supports creating both stateless and stateful microservices—an architectural approach where complex applications are composed of small, independently versioned services—to power the most complex, low-latency, data-intensive scenarios and scale them into the cloud," he added.

Back in the Azure SQL cloud, the company announced free perks that enhance database security and enable native search capabilities.

"Today we are announcing Transparent Data Encryption for Azure SQL Database is now available in preview at no additional cost," said Kapoor. Also available at no cost is Full-Text Search, which provides "fast, robust search functionality integrated into the database platform" for Web applications, document management systems and custom applications that can benefit from text search capabilities.

In a blog post today, Mihaela Blendea, senior program manager of Microsoft Azure SQL Database, noted that Full-Text Search, available in public preview for Azure SQL Database V12, "allows fast and flexible indexing for keyword-based query of text data stored in tables with columns of following data types: char, varchar, nchar, nvarchar, text, ntext, image, xml, or varbinary(max)."

The feature not only supports text in columns, but also tables with columns that contain supported file types, including .html, .htm, .txt, .log, .xml and .java, she added. Plus, Full-Text Search scales to enterprise-grade workloads. "Full-Text Search can scale from mobile or personal applications with relatively few and simple queries, up to complex mission-critical applications with high query volume over huge amounts of textual data," Blendea claimed.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...