Build 2021: Empowering what’s next

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While this past year has been challenging, the tech intensity generated by the increased speed of digital transformation has delivered new opportunities for our partner ecosystem. We’re committed to ensuring our partners have the tools, resources, and programs you need to continue to deliver success for our customers and to grow your own businesses. 

A key part of our shared success is empowering developers to build what’s next. Microsoft Build, our annual event that brings developers from around world together to hear about our latest innovations, learn new skills and connect as a community, starts today and runs through May 27, 2021.  

Today, via several blogs, we announced new tools and capabilities to help developers, partners, and customers build for the future, maximizing productivity, harnessing the power of data and AI, taking advantage of the power of cloud-native applications, and helping ensure preparedness for the next generation of hybrid work. Some of the key announcements are highlighted below. 

Increase Developer Velocity with Microsoft’s end-to-end developer platform 

Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Cloud + AI Group, outlines how customers can increase developer velocity by empowering every developer to build apps and solutions with Microsoft’s comprehensive developer tools and platform. This includes several announcements on how developers can: 

  • Collaborate globally and securely: we announced a new way to foster shared responsibility and collaboration between development and SecOps teams. This will help teams integrate security into early stages of the development cycle and ensure visibility for the security teams, rather than address issues after software has shipped.  

Deliver new intelligent cloud-native applications by harnessing the power of Data and AI 

John ‘JG’ Chirapurath, Vice President - Azure Data, Artificial Intelligence & Edge, discusses how customers can accelerate innovation within their organization by delivering new intelligent cloud-native app experiences with Azure data and AI. This includes announcements of new capabilities and offers that make it easy and cost-effective for developers to get started with Azure data and AI services, helping them: 

  • Build intelligent applications with Azure AI: A new category of services called Azure Applied AI Services combines Azure Cognitive Services with task-specific AI and business logic, so developers can accelerate building AI solutions for common scenarios, (for example document processing, customer service, and extracting insights from content). We announced updates to specific Applied AI services such as Azure Bot Service, Azure Metrics Advisor, and Azure Video Analyzer. We also announced how developers can extend Applied AI Services by bringing their own custom models from Azure Machine Learning. The new managed endpoints in Azure Machine Learning enables developers to automate the creation and management of infrastructure used to serve models into applications. Finally, we’re helping developers using Microsoft Power Apps to turn natural language into code and program by example with an AI-powered app development approach powered by the OpenAI GPT-3 model, one of the largest natural language models in the world, which runs on Azure Machine Learning’s managed endpoints. 

Build cloud-native applications your way and run them anywhere 

Gabe Monroy, Vice President, Azure Developer Experience, outlines how customers can build cloud-native applications their way and run them anywhere. They can move from ideas to applications rapidly with turnkey application services from Azure, now available on Kubernetes and anywhere with Azure Arc. This includes additional announcements around: 

  • Azure application services: your apps, run anywhere: Azure applications services can now run on Kubernetes and anywhere with Azure Arc. This enables customers to use their favorite Azure application services anywhere, including on-premises, on the edge, and Multicloud such as AWS or Google. 
  • Innovate faster with turnkey application services: Azure’s application services suite (comprised of Azure App Service, Azure Functions, Azure Logic Apps, Azure Event Grid, and Azure API Management) are designed to work together and are highly optimized for developer productivity. 
  • The productivity of application services with the control of Kubernetes: We announced that any Kubernetes cluster connected through Azure Arc is now a supported deployment target for Azure’s application services, enhancing the developer experience. 
  • Run your apps anywhere with Azure Arc: Developers can now save time building hybrid applications using the portable application services powered by Azure Arc. Combined with the use of Arc-enabled data services, applications and their data can now run anywhere using fully managed cloud services – an industry first. 

Build the next generation of collaborative apps for hybrid work 

Nicole Herskowitz, General Manager Product Marketing, Microsoft Teams, discusses the rise of a new class of apps called “collaborative apps” built for the hybrid workplace – centered around collaboration versus individual productivity and provide the flexibility to work from anywhere, with anyone, and at any time. Some of the many new features and experiences announced include: 

  • Build collaborative apps with Microsoft Teams: New meeting features and APIs like shared stage, meeting event APIs, media APIs and together mode extensibility will empower the development of richer meeting experiences. Developers will also be able to create more cross platform experiences with Fluid components in Teams messages (coming soon in private preview) and message extensions that work in Teams and Outlook on web. And lastly new developer tools and resources to make the Teams app development experience seamless. 
  • Deliver experiences built around data, insights, and security with Microsoft Graph: New Graph Connectors that are coming soon to enable bringing data into Microsoft Graph to surface it across Microsoft 365. And Microsoft Graph Data Connect which is now available in preview on Azure to copy select Microsoft 365 productivity datasets into Azure. And the general availability of Universal Actions for Adaptive Cards to build a single card that works across Teams and Outlook. 
  • Build modern Windows apps that work seamlessly on any endpoint: New features such as Project Reunion 0.8 preview to create and modernize Windows apps for both client and cloud endpoints. And GUI app support on Windows Subsystem for Linux so that all the tools and workflows are seamless.  

You can also read Charles Lamanna, Corporate Vice President, Low Code Application Platform, blog to learn more about how Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Power Platform, GitHub, Visual Studio, and Microsoft’s industry-specific solutions come together to empower developers to move quickly and compose powerful SaaS solutions.

Please join us at the Microsoft Build 2021 digital event to learn more about these announcements and more. Sessions will also be available on demand following the event.