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It’s always a thrill to highlight new ways our partners can bring big ideas to life through technology. Their bold solutions never cease to amaze me, which is why I’m so excited about the technologies revealed today in New York at Connect(); 2017. With these emerging capabilities, partners who develop in the cloud will be able to build even more intelligent, innovative apps for their customers.

Changing the world with modern apps

I regularly hear from partners looking for ways to bring richer, more intuitive, modernized experiences to both consumers and business users. Building AI capabilities into apps enhances interaction and sets companies apart with a differentiated customer experience.

For example, think of a home remodeling app that captures and analyzes the dimensions and appearance of an outdated kitchen, then displays new appliances, colors, and recommended upgrades. Or a farm management app that uses weather patterns, soil samples, and crop schedules to generate unique water and fertilizer guides for small, single-owner farms. The opportunities are virtually endless.

Build with Microsoft

To help partners take advantage of this approach to creating intelligent apps, Microsoft now includes new AI development tools in Visual Studio, which is part of your MPN membership benefits.  We also announced the new Azure IoT Edge service that enables deployment of cloud intelligence to IoT devices via containers, and we are introducing a new set of breakthrough cloud capabilities to run on IoT Edge, including Azure Machine Learning, Azure Functions, and Azure Stream Analytics. Learn more about these tools here.

For partners focused on building data and analytics solutions across a broad set of data sources, Microsoft made several announcements today that provide greater flexibility across the data estate.  We launched Azure Databricks Preview.  It’s a fast, easy, and collaborative Apache Spark™ platform that allows data scientists, data engineers, and developers to process, manage, and get quick insights out of enterprise-scale data. Also announced in private preview is Azure Database for MariaDB that will bring fully-managed service capabilities to MariaDB, a database that developers love. The power of Azure Cosmos DB gets richer, too, with the Azure Cosmos DB with Apache® Cassandra API preview.

For us data migration geeks, you can read more about how the Microsoft Data Accelerator Program helps ISVs meet growing customer demand to move data workloads to the cloud here.

If you want to bring that data to life with AI, it’s never been easier.  Get started Microsoft’s AI School – free, on-line modules for self-paced easy consumption. Learn more about this amazing resource here.

App development for all

Rounding out today’s announcements is the general availability of Visual Studio App Center. This is the most comprehensive app development lifecycle solution, regardless of the environment you’re working in (Objective-C, Swift, Java, Xamarin and React Native developers, the new Azure DevOps Projects feature, Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2018 general availability, or Python extensions for Visual Studio Code). It’s available in Visual Studio subscriptions through the Cloud Solution Provider program. Learn more about this great opportunity here.

We think these new offerings will be big differentiators for partners, and we’re committed to helping you take advantage.

Share your experience at Connect(); 2017 with the Microsoft Partner Community here.

Microsoft Azure Modernize to SQL Server 2017 for cloud migration Microsoft Connect();