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Microsoft Build 2016 - Day 2 Keynote Quick Take

| by Jeff Martin Follow 17 Followers on Mar 31, 2016. Estimated reading time: 4 minutes |

Microsoft's annual Build developer conference continued today in San Francisco's Moscone Center. Read on for InfoQ's coverage as Microsoft announced their plans for the Cloud, the fate of their Xamarin acquisition, and Office 365.  (This was written live during the keynote, please excuse any spelling or typographical errors.)

Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, takes the stage to begin by talking how they “Build the Intelligent Cloud”.  30 unique Azure regions around the world, more than AWS and Google Cloud combined.  Customers are choosing Azure according to Microsoft due to Choice + Flexibility.  Choice of operating systems and developer environments.  Can host the Azure Stack in their local datacenter. The text two reasons is that it is Enterprise Ready and provides Productivity

Azure usage statistics

Build native mobile apps with C#:  Miguel De Icaza arrives on stage to demonstrate building a C# app in Visual Studio that targets iOS 9.2.  iOS emulator running on Windows—emulator supports multi-touch events being inputted from the host computer (using a Surface Pro).  Next he demonstrated what essentially an interactive programming tutorial (Xamarin Inspector)—the tutorial is live, so that editing code shown in the tutorial appears instantly on an Android emulator.

Guthrie returns to announce that Xamarin for Visual Studio will be free for all primary editions of Visual Studio (Community, Professional, Enterprise).  The Xamarin runtime will also be open sourced, reinforcing the fact that .NET is an open platform.

Donovan Brown on stage to demo Mobile DevOps.  The Xamarin Test Recorder logs all actions that are being taken on the Android emulator.  This being recorded as tests written in C#, for later playback in continuous integration processes.  It also allows for easy customization of the resulting test code.  The resulting test can then be executed on the Xamarin Test Cloud, and a video of the test running on the device of your choosing can be viewed.

Guthrie returns to the stage to talk about Microsoft’s views on the Internet of Things.  Thom Brenner from BMW joins Guthrie to talk about digital services.  The play a video showing BMW’s vision for cars that feature dynamic response to driving conditions, road conditions, and the ability to display communications (video chat and emails) while driving the car.

Guthrie announces Azure Functions Preview.  This provides serverless compute, trigger on events in Azure + external services, pay only per execution, C# & Node.js supported, open source runtime runs anywhere.  Cameron Skinner introduced to provide an IoT Azure demo.  A device connected to the Internet was able to upload real-time temperature data to Azure and display the results live.

Age of Ascent using Azure’s Service Fabric.  After a short video introduction Scott Hanselman comes on stage to demonstrate the web browser based game and explore the Azure infrastructure behind the game.  AOA is written in C# using ASP.NET Core, and relies on Azure to provide backend support for the large number of users that play the game simultaneously.  An edit made to the game’s code is then deployed live while the game remains operational.  The upgrade is phased out, 20% machines upgrade at a time.  Since the game has a health monitor, it detected that Hanselman’s changes were not correct Azure automatically rolled them back before they unleashed to all of the game’s servers.

Lara Rubbelke with Power BI Embedded.  This provides reporting capability using the data contained within Azure without having to use a separate application.  It can be used today and is free for use until May 1 providing time to sample the application on your data.  

Qi Lu on stage to discuss Reinvent Productivity, the Developer opportunity, and demos of the same.  Planning to transform the Office products to services as they transition to the Cloud.  Data is the new oil according to Lu.  Intelligence is a new form of energy. 

Developer Opportunity

Microsoft Graph is a single API end-point.  This allows developers the opportunity to build intelligent apps by connecting to Office services.  Some of the features:

  • Unified Microsoft API and SDKs
  • Single sign-on with Azure
  • Access to data in real-time
  • Intelligence with analytical signals

Yina Arenas arrives to demonstrate Office Extensibility with Microsoft Graph.  She is able to programmatically access people’s availability based on their information stored in Outlook.  The latest Office developer tools are available for Visual Studio today. 

Gerri Martin-Flickinger, Chief Technology Officer at Starbucks arrives to talk about Starbuck’s technology efforts.  A demonstration is given of a new Outlook plugin (Starbucks for Outlook) that Starbucks is using to allow users to buy and send Starbucks gift cards via email.  A different feature allows people to easily meet at a Starbucks thanks to the ability to locate local Starbucks and include directions to that location in the email invitation.

Qi Lu returns to discuss the general availability of Office 365 Group Connectors and the Skype for Business Web & Mobile SDK.   Office 365 is HIPAA compliant which increases its usefulness for the medical industry.

John Shewchuk and Steve Guggenheimer have now take the stage to demo some of the new products being built with the new Microsoft technology.  These include new Muzik headphones with programmable buttons, and highspot Office plugins.  The demonstrated product showed a PowerPoint plugin that lets a user add a tracker to a presentation so that the number of times it was accessed and presented.

A great augmented reality demo showed how a 3D object rendered by Unity could be viewed through a camera or Surface Pro tablet.  The model isn’t there, but it appears to be physically present, making inspection of the object possible in a way not possible with a 2D display.

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