Microsoft Ignite is an annual conference for developers and IT professionals hosted by Microsoft. It is essentially one of Microsoft’s biggest annual events where some of the biggest announcements are made!
I was fortunate enough this year to become a “Microsoft Most Valuable Professional” aka “MVP” just a few days before Ignite, which made me fired up for the event even more-than I was already!
The excitement didn’t stop there, I was actually at Ignite, well, not really, but my name was on the wall if that counts! 😉
Before talking about the most interesting announcements that was made at Ignite from my point of view, I would like to thank Microsoft for their appreciation, it really means a lot! ❤
I will be mentioning and talking about the most interesting announcements from my own point of view.
Let’s start things out with A.I. and Developer Tools then get to the rest!
Bot Framework and Azure Bot Service
Along announcing new capabilities where developers can easily build and deliver bots across more channels, including an SDK for Microsoft Teams, and new language support with Java SDK, one of the biggest announcements that was made at Ignite from my point of view, is releasing Bot Framework Composer to the public!
I think that the Bot Framework Composer will revolutionize how we build bots, save huge amount of time, and will make it way easier for everyone to build bots without the need of having intensive experience.
Bot Framework Composer is a new tool that enables developers to create bots using a graphical user interface, completely open-source and customizable!
It doesn’t stop there!
Microsoft also announced Power Virtual Agents!
Power Virtual Agents
It is very similar to the Bot Framework Composer, but without the need of data scientists, engineers, or developers!
It allows creating and maintaining bots with a no-code interface.
I think this was an essential step after releasing AI Builder earlier this year, as it removes the boundaries and provides a complete low-code business application platform, not just building apps, analytics, but also bots!
Azure Machine Learning
Azure Machine Learning designer keeps getting better and better!
With new enhancements to ML designer and automated ML, to new MLOPs capabilities that help accelerate the machine learning lifecycle.
I used both Azure Machine Learning Studio (classic) and the new Azure Machine Learning designer, and the difference is obvious!
The new Azure Machine Learning designer with its continuous enhancements is revolutionary.
Azure Cognitive Services
Included updates to Azure Cognitive Search including data connectors, additional built-in skills and expanded region availability.
The new capabilities enrich all types of content to easily identify and explore relevant content at scale.
New Speech service capabilities included Custom Neural Voice which helps build recognizable, one-of-a-kind voice for your business.
I love automation, customization and time saving solutions, and the Cognitive Services are evolving every day towards that, which is awesome from my own point of view.
It was announced that the latest release adds image classification training with the ML.NET application program interface (API), as well as a relational database loader API for reading data used for training models with ML.NET.
This indicates a promising future for ML.NET from my own point of view, as it is becoming more complete.
.NET Core with Jupyter Notebooks
.Net Core can now be used with Jupyter Notebooks, which is really awesome!
We can now write .Net code, whether C# or F# in Jupyter Notebooks, so, it’s not just Python, R, Julia, or Scala anymore!
That brings iterative, interactive experiences popular in the worlds of machine learning and big data to .NET. which I am really excited about, just imagine!
Visual Studio Online
I have always thought about the idea of having a complete development environments on the cloud that I could leverage from my browser at ease, and that just happened at Ignite!
Microsoft brought the Visual Studio experience to the cloud, accessible from the browser, with full extensions support!
I can imagine how this will bring ease to the developers, awesome release!
Azure Arc brings Azure services and management to any infrastructure, which means you can manage your on-premise, Amazon, Google or whatever other cloud provider you use with Azure through one place, which is Azure Arc, simplifying all your cloud experience in one place.
Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based)
The new Microsoft Edge replaces Microsoft’s previous iteration of the Edge browser, launching officially on January 15, 2020.
It is Chromium-based and from my experience, it is much better than the previous one, and most importantly, it is much better than Google Chrome when it comes to speed, security, extensibility and features!
I currently only use the new Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based), and you can too!
I suggest the Beta Channel since it is the most stable, but it is also fun to try the other channels and experience the latest improvements before anyone else! 😉
Microsoft Ignite was definitely mind blowing, and it included much more than what I mentioned in my blogpost, including but not limited to Azure Synapse, Project Silica, Azure Quantum, Project Cortex, project Ada, Scott Hanselman orders from Chipotle using Vue.js and CosmosDB on the stage, and much more!
That’s why I will leave you to an all-in-one place for all things Azure at Ignite 2019!
If you want to explore more, here are some references!