Microsoft previews Azure Functions and makes Azure Service Fabric available

Azure Functions is ideal for developing IoT, web, mobile, and big data applications. It is capable of executing code when certain events occur and automatically managing the underlying resources. Azure Service Fabric enables the creation of apps based on micro services.

As part of its Developer Conference Build 2016, Microsoft previewed Azure Functions and announced the availability of Azure Service Fabric. In addition, Microsoft now offers new Azure IoT starter kits that allow the creation of IoT prototypes at unit prices between $ 50 and $ 150. In addition, the Azure IoT Gateway SDK can be integrated into the development of prototypes. This will simplify the connection of older devices and sensors in IoT scenarios and thus the use of existing infrastructures and device management in the Azure IoT Hub.

Azure Functions is designed to compete with AWS Lambda as a new serverless compute service that runs code as events occur and automatically manages the underlying computing resources. The open-source library for platform-independent application development is easy to integrate with Visual Studio, GitHub, Slack, and other Azure platform services. These include App Service, Storage and Event Hubs.

Azure Functions can be used to create IoT applications, among other things, as it allows you to manage tasks that respond to specific events. But according to Microsoft it is also suitable for web and mobile apps as well as for big data applications. The service adapts automatically to the current requirements. Costs only apply to the resources that are used.

The Azure Service Fabric PaaS offering , which is available now, supports the development of applications based on micro services. It splits Azure applications into smaller components, which can then be upgraded and maintained regardless of the underlying infrastructure.

Service Fabric uses programming interfaces to ensure that the individual microservices can communicate with one another. It also enables application lifecycle management (ALM) with 24/7 availability and easy scalability through the cloud. A preview of Service Fabric for Windows Server provides these capabilities for on-premise, hybrid, and public cloud environments. A preview of Service Fabric for Linux and Java APIs will be released by Microsoft later this year as an open source development environment.

Microsoft itself uses the service fabric technology to operate some parts of Azure Core, as well as services such as Skype for Business, Azure SQL Database, Intune, Event Hubs, DocumentDB, and Cortana. It promises that customers will gain access to exactly the same framework technology they use internally.

As another innovation, the Redmond, San Francisco-based company unveiled a preview of Power BI Embedded that integrates rich, interactive reports and data visualizations into any application or device. Finally, Microsoft announced that applications can now also communicate with the Azure DocumentDB No SQL Service through Apache License MongoDB APIs and drivers.

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