Microsoft has announced a bunch of developer-friendly features and tooling at the second part of its Ignite conference this year. Among these are a new version of Visual Studio 2019 in general availability as well as a tool which allows you to transition critical workloads to newer versions of .NET, such as .NET 5.
Visual Studio 2019 version 16.9 was previously available as a preview, but is now generally available. It contains improvements for XAML and .NET productivity, tooling for Git, and C++ development. This also means that version 16.10 preview 1 is now available, also containing improvements for C++ and .NET.
The .NET Upgrade Assistant is available as a preview too. It essentially combines the functionalities offered by various separate tools into a single unified tool so developers can upgrade their critical .NET workloads to newer platforms such as .NET 5 with ease. This is an open source effort.
Microsoft is also making it easier for customers to deploy Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) solutions on Azure. This is via scripts and offers available in Azure Marketplace, supported by Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM. In related news, the Private Azure Marketplace is now generally available too. This was announced as a preview back in September 2020, it enables IT admins to enable governance policies around which third-party Marketplace solutions can be accessed within their organization.
The Redmond tech giant has also announced that Azure Communication Services will soon hit general availability. This was also announced as a preview in September 2020, and offers developers a collection of libraries to easily integrate communication channels across platforms and services. Microsoft claims it to be the "first fully managed communication platform offering from a major cloud provider". It is already interoperable with Microsoft Teams in preview and can also be utilized to enable conversational AI experiences over a traditional phone call.
With regards to making it easier for developers to build stuff without worrying about underlying infrastructure, Microsoft has announced that Managed Virtual Network and Autoscale for Azure Spring Cloud are now generally available. The former allows for better security controls while the latter is better for cost-efficiency. Both these features were previously announced as a preview in September 2020.
Check out our other Ignite 2021 coverage right here.