One way Microsoft is keeping its cloud business growing is by catering to the needs of enterprise developers. The week, the company released new Azure management libraries for .NET and Java, enabling developers to incorporate common cloud management functions into their applications.
Within the Azure Management Libraries for.NET and Java are open source components that cover a variety of compute, networking, storage and SQL database management functions, among several others. Examples include virtual machine scale sets, virtual networks, and elastic SQL database pools.
For developers looking to speed up projects involving the Azure IoT Gateway SDK, Microsoft has released new packages that streamline the creation of custom modules. Coders can use the SDK in their language of choice (C#, C, Java or Node.js) to connect legacy devices to their IoT applications and perform specific actions.
"The primary benefit of these packages is time saved," wrote Mohammed Furqan, senior program manager at Microsoft, in a blog post. "They significantly reduce the number of steps required to start writing a module. You no longer have to clone and build the whole Gateway project. In addition, the packages include all the dependencies for you to mix modules written in different languages."
Furgan's post includes a list of the new packages, along with more detailed information.
Organizations keeping a close eye on their cloud costs can now use the new Azure Billing API to programmatically download invoices, stated Vikram Desai, principal program manager of Azure Commercial Experiences at Microsoft, in an April 25 announcement. Also available is a Billing Reader role that allows administrators to grant users access to Azure subscription cost and billing information while keeping management functions, like the ability to spin up a new virtual machine, off limits.
Earlier in the week, Microsoft announced the availability of new Azure services for customers in the U.K. They include Azure Container Registry and HDInsight, the company's Hadoop-based big data service. Using the Azure Import/Export service, customers in the region can also start physically shipping their data to and from Microsoft's cloud by sending hard drives to the Azure UK South data center located in London.
Also this week, Microsoft issued guidance on backing up data models created using Azure Analysis Services. Businesses that don't have data scientists on staff can use the recently-launched service, which is based on the analytics engine that powers SQL Server Analysis Services, to create semantic data models that can then be used with business intelligence tools.
"One of the features that was added to Azure Analysis Services is the ability to backup your semantic models and all the data within them to a blob storage account. The backups can later be restored to same Azure Analysis Services server or to a different one," explained Microsoft senior program manager Josh Caplan, in a blog post.