At its Build 2021 event, Microsoft has announced a plethora of new features coming to its cloud platform and associated services. It has also revealed enhancements to development platforms such as .NET.
.NET 6 Preview 4 is now live and contains lots of improvements on the development side of things. Developers utilizing a single codebase across multiple target platforms can make use of the .NET Multi-platform App UI (.NET MAUI) in Visual Studio. Developers building desktop web UIs can take advantage of ASP.NET Blazor hybrid apps. Additionally, support for Apple Silicon and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) on ARM64 has been added. Smaller container images that have less of a memory footprint and web APIs can also be utilized to build smaller and faster microservices. As usual, the new release contains performance enhancements as well.
In the same vein, Visual Studio 2019 16.10 is now generally available with new IntelliSense features, testing and Git tooling, and conformance features for C++ in tow.
On the Azure front, Azure app services are now Azure Arc-enabled, which means that they can now be deployed on Kubernetes clusters, among other enhancements. Meanwhile, Open Service Mesh (OSM) is now in preview. The add-on enables more efficient management and security of Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes clusters.
That's not all on the Kubernetes side. Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI has hit general availability. Through this, the deployment of Kubernetes clusters to on-premises environments can be easily carried out. Other improvements to Azure Stack HCI include a multi-cluster monitoring mechanism. To further enhance the devops experience, Azure Security Center can now show the results of a container scan using GitHub Actions for better traceability.
Furthermore, v0.4 of Azure Bicep is out now. This is a declarative open source language for the deployment of Azure resources using code. The new release makes it easier to manage and validate codebases.
Azure Monitor has received couple of features in preview. These include efficient onboarding of Application Insights for Java apps on Azure App Services as well as query packs in logs analytics.
Two updates on Azure IoT are generally available. First up are nesting capabilities in Azure IoT Edge which enables manufacturers to consolidate data from various systems and securely transmit it to the cloud. Secondly, Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows is out now. It empowers customers to take advantage of both Windows and Linux instead of opting for just one of the two.
Microsoft and Elastic are also working together to release a native experience on Azure. The integration is currently in preview and allows customers to make use of search and visualization capabilities from the Azure portal.
Finally, Microsoft has announced a new research initiative called Developer Velocity Lab (DVL). The mostly open source project aims to improve developer well-being through its investigations in the socio-technical space. You can find out more about it here.