Updated: Jul 17, 2019
Jim Buck, Project Manager
I had the pleasure of attending the Microsoft Build Developers Conference in Seattle, WA. Not quite knowing what to expect, I was shocked at how many new and exciting announcements they had for .NET, Azure, and Windows. As I ran from session to session, I clearly saw which services and features stood out from the rest. Below are some of the announcements that I found to be the most important.
As the official release of .NET Core 3 approaches, Microsoft announced that the next version of .NET will unify .NET Core and .NET Framework 4.X, referring to the successor as .NET 5. This next version will offer all of the existing SDKs for web, desktop and mobile, but all supported by a single framework. It will combine all of the best features from .NET Core, .NET Framework, and Mono. .NET Core powers cross-platform solutions and enables standalone executables. .NET Framework supports a massive ecosystem of libraries and desktop platforms like WPF and WinForms. Mono enables cross-platform runtime including in the browser via WebAssembly.
By combining the features of these three runtimes, it will remove the compatibility barriers when creating multi-tiered web applications. Popular libraries will automatically support a broader range of targets as they share a common .NET Standard API.
.NET Core 3, the final .NET Core version, releases in September of 2019 and .NET 5 is targeted to officially release in November of 2020. With a regular release schedule of 1 major version every November, planning for upgrades will be far easier than it has been for previous .NET Core versions.
ASP.NET Core is a powerful and flexible framework that we use to power our client’s solutions. The unification of .NET will only bring more power and capability to an already impressive platform.
Machine learning is an extremely powerful tool that leaves many with two major questions. How do I build an effective ML model and how can I apply it to my business? Azure AutoML solves the problem of building effective models by providing intelligent tools.
With the choice of a web interface or command line tools, users are able to prepare and train models without the need for a degree in data science. What used to take months can now be done in days or weeks by AutoML. By leveraging the scalability of Azure, models can now be created in a fraction of the time and with greater accuracy by testing multiple algorithms in parallel.
AutoML is a significant advancement in accessibility to Machine Learning. From predictive analytics to recognizing patterns in customer interaction, AutoML takes away the guess work and makes your data a first-class asset.
Azure API Management
Azure API Management (APIM) is a service that was originally announced in December of 2018, but has received more updates and high-profile testing from companies like Wegmans. APIM provides a single portal for creating, managing and securing new and legacy APIs. Development teams can start working together earlier with the ability to mock out endpoints and even test them right in the browser. It also provides the ability to pre-process and post-process the response data, enabling organizations to enforce throttling and access rules with the flip of a switch.
Whether it’s 3 API servers or 30, management is streamlined and powerful, with automatic metrics and performance logging. Factor in the ability to automatically build documentation and that is service that ensures security and stability to your most important systems.
The number of exciting new features and services is too many to count. But Microsoft’s goal is very clear: make building and maintaining complex systems as easy and flexible as possible. These services and frameworks will lay the foundation for the next generation of intelligent cross-platform systems. I can’t wait to bring the benefits of these advancements directly to our clients.