Thursday at Build 2014, Microsoft announced a new cloud experience that brings together cross-platform technologies, services and tools, via a new Microsoft Azure Preview Portal.
In addition, the company announced several new milestones in Visual Studio Online and .NET.
"Developing for a mobile-first, cloud-first world is complicated, and Microsoft is working to simplify this world without sacrificing speed, choice, cost or quality," said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president at Microsoft. "Imagine a world where infrastructure and platform services blend together in one seamless experience, so developers and IT professionals no longer have to work in disparate environments in the cloud. Microsoft has been rapidly innovating to solve this problem, and we have taken a big step toward that vision today."
Microsoft hopes that its new Microsoft Azure Preview Portal will enable its customers to develop and manage an application in one place, using the platform and tools of their choice. New components include the following:
- Simplified Resource Management. Rather than managing standalone resources such as Microsoft Azure Web Sites, Visual Studio Projects or databases, Microsoft's customers can now create, manage and analyze their entire application as a single resource group.
- New integrated billing enables developers and IT pros to take control of their costs and optimize their resources.
- A gallery of application and services from Microsoft and the open source community.
- Microsoft announced enhancements through the Microsoft Azure Preview Portal, available Thursday. This includes Team Projects supporting greater agility for application lifecycle management and the lightweight editor code-named "Monaco" for modifying and committing Web project code changes without leaving Azure. Also included is Application Insights, an analytics solution that collects telemetry data such as availability, performance and usage information to track an application's health.
Thursday also marks Visual Studio Online's release to general availability. Visual Studio Online is also now backed by a 99.9 percent availability SLA for account services and functionality.
Microsoft also announced new open source partnerships with Chef and Puppet Labs to run configuration management technologies in Azure Virtual Machines. In addition, today Microsoft announced the release of Java Applications to Microsoft Azure Web Sites.
Microsoft also previewed the .NET Compiler Platform (previously code-named "Roslyn"). This opens up the C# and Visual Basic compilers as APIs that allow developers to share in the wealth of information the compilers store about code. This is also available as open source, enabling new scenarios for .NET and Visual Studio developers.
Miguel de Icaza of Xamarin announced the .NET Foundation, an independent organization created to foster open development and collaboration around the collection of open source technologies for .NET. It will serve as a forum for commercial and community developers.