During the 2nd day of Microsoft Ignite 2019, we heard a number of keynotes and big announcements about the latest Microsoft products and updates. You can find all the updates here but if you’re looking for the highlights, we’ve broken down some of the biggest take-aways from the Keynotes…
Azure Arc for servers allows you to manage machines which are outside of Azure so you can connect physical or virtual machines running on-premises or in another cloud provider. They’ll then appear as part of a resource group inside an Azure subscription and benefit from standard Azure features such as Azure Policy and tagging.
Arc also enables you to run Azure data services on-premises, at the edge and in a multi-cloud environment, using Kubernetes on the infrastructure of your choice. Azure SQL Database and Azure Database for PostgreSQL Hyperscale are available for preview on Azure Arc, with more Azure data services to come. Find out more details on Azure Arc here.
Power Virtual Agents
Power Virtual Agents is Microsoft’s new no-code/low-code tool for building chat bots and is now in public preview. It enables anyone in an organisation, regardless of technical ability, to create and deploy virtual agents (Chat bots) using a visual display as opposed to having to write code. Sounds good right? Learn more about it here.
Azure Synapse Analytics
This is a new Azure analytics service and is the next generation of Azure SQL Data Warehouse. It looks as though Microsoft is bringing together ETL, Data Warehouse, Big Data and AI processing, and Big Data Analytics into a single service. Previously these would have been managed and monitored as separate services, but this is more of a turnkey solution as opposed to having to configure all of those services separately. This video gives a breakdown of how the service works.
New Office App
There’s a new Office App for Android and iOS now in public preview. You’ll no longer need separate apps for Word, Excel, Power point, etc. they will be all centralised in one app. During
Ignite, Microsoft ran a demo of a cool feature where you could scan an image of text or table and it converts it into a Word document or Excel table for you. They’ve also built more AI and cognitive services into Office and Outlook, for example you can use voice search to search for items in your mailbox. You can find more details on the new Office app here.
There are a raft of updates coming to teams including private channels. You can now create channels in existing teams, but they can only be viewed by selected members of those teams. Multi-window pop-out chats are available now as well, so no more having to switch between chat threads. There’s a new Yammer app for teams as well, so you can stay on top of Yammer and Teams notifications in one app now. You’ll find a full list of Teams updates here.
These are just some of the key announcements. There are hundreds more and we’re looking forward to seeing how we can implement them at ANS and for our customers.