Microsoft recently announced an addition to its Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering called Azure Functions. Initially launched as a preview service in March 2016, Azure Functions provide developers with an event-driven serverless compute platform that allow organizations to pay for only what they consume.
A Facebook team has recently published a comparison of the performance of their existing Giraph-based graph processing system with the newer GraphX which is part of the popular Spark framework. Their conclusion is that GraphX is neither sufficiently scalable or performant to support their graph processing workloads.
Python is approaching its next major milestone, version 3.6. Expected to be released on December 16, Python 3.6 brings many new features, including faster and more compact dictionaries, improved asyncio, a new file system path protocol, and more.
At the recent AWS re:Invent conference, Amazon introduced a preview of their deep learning technology called Amazon Lex which can be used to build conversational interfaces using voice and text. Amazon Lex is powered on the same deep learning technology as Alexa, which is used in the portable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled Amazon Echo speaker.
After approving the feature extension process, Oracle has confirmed July 2017 as release date for Java 9. Similar to a previous estimation by InfoQ, the new schedule involves a longer wait time for feature extension and impacted testing phases which may impose a risk. Early, informal testing might be in place to compensate.
Julien Le Dem, the PMC chair of the Apache Arrow project, presented on Data Eng Conf NY on the future of column-oriented data processing. Apache Arrow is an open-source standard for columnar in-memory execution. InfoQ interviewed Le Dem to find out the differences between Arrow and Parquet.
Visual Studio has a new website for extensions. Known as Visual Studio Marketplace, this site aggregates extensions for the Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, and Visual Studio Team Services.
Alexandre Magno, author of the book ”How Creative Workers Learn", gave a masterclass at the Scrum Gathering Portugal 2016 showing the power of the practices that emerge from the inside of an organization instead of being imported from the outside.
Software security is a complex problem, and is becoming even more complex using Microservices where each service has to deal with security, David Borsos explained at the recent Microservices Conference in London, during his presentation evaluating four end-user authentication options within a microservice based systems.
When you want to scale the number of A/B tests to do many experiments at the same time, you need to adopt your processes and platform, and it might also impact your culture. Doing product research with controlled experiments helps to confront your ideas about how customers will use your product in reality, and check if those ideas actually impact user behaviour.
Alexandre Freire’s QConSF session focused on Modern Agile’s framework and suggested ways to implement them within an organization. He emphasized that the underlying culture must support these practices, or the practices will be forced and not lead to creating awesome teams.
Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service API, the NLP (natural language processing) API that powers Amazon Echo, has a new update that allows for developers to use Alexa to turn any device into a “smart” device through the use of the API’s voice recognition features.
At their annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, AWS unleashed a flurry of announcements about upcoming cloud services. Amazon outlined over two dozen new capabilities coming to the public cloud, including directly querying data in S3 object storage, building code as part of deployment pipelines, provisioning cheap virtual private servers, and moving data in bulk, ETL-style.
Amazon has launched Lightsail, a Virtual Private Server (VPS) service to compete with companies like Digital Ocean, Linode and the multitude of Low End Box providers. The service bundles a basic Linux virtual machine with SSD storage and a bandwidth allowance. Pricing starts at $5/month with tiers by RAM allocation. Each larger configuration comes with more storage and bandwidth.
At the AWS re:Invent 2016 conference, held in Las Vegas, USA, a distributed tracing service named AWS X-Ray was released in preview within all 12 public AWS Regions. In a similar fashion to Google’s Dapper, Twitter’s Zipkin and the OpenTracing API, AWS X-Ray helps developers analyse and debug distributed applications, such as those built using a microservices architectural style.