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Microsoft Gives Preview of New Azure Portal at Build Conference

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At its Build Developer Conference this week, Microsoft introduced a new Azure Portal that provides many cross-platform management tools, technologies, and services in a single workspace.

The new Azure Portal will eventually replace the cloud management portal currently used by Azure customers.

According to a blog post by Microsoft Azure GM Steven Martin, “The new portal significantly simplifies resource management, so you can create, manage, and analyze your entire application as a single resource group rather than through standalone resources like Azure Web Sites, Visual Studio Projects, or databases. With integrated billing, a rich gallery of applications and services, and built-in Visual Studio Online, you can be more agile while maintaining control of your costs and application performance.”

Designed to bridge infrastructure and platform services, the new Portal integrates features from both Azure and Visual Studio, as well a AppInsights, Microsoft’s application and user-level analytics service.

A video preview shows a dashboard that makes it easy to spin up resources and web applications, navigate dependencies, and manage resources either manually or automatically. Additionally, the Portal has features that help teams team track progress, and visibility into what each team member is doing. Integrated analytics allow administrators to see detailed resource use and drill down to determine what people resources are being used and where efficiencies can be gained.

The new integrated approach is expected to be a hit with companies that engage in Agile development and DevOps, where continuous deployment and rapid iteration is valued, and a unified interface can provide greater automation and visibility.

Other Announcements at Build for Cloud Application Developers

Additionally, Microsoft announced at Build that it has partnered with Chef and Puppet Labs to run their popular virtual machine management software on Azure.

Microsoft launched offline sync for Azure Mobile Services allowing enterprises to design applications for scenarios where users need to work with data while disconnected from the network and update when reconnected.

Users can minimize costs by scaling up or down based on demand using Autoscale, which is now generally available for Virtual Machines, Cloud Services, Web Sites, and Mobile Services.

Microsoft released of version 2.3 of the Azure SDK, which lets users more easily provision and create web sites or virtual machines in Azure and publish them using the Publish Web wizard.

Azure Active Directory Premium is now generally available, providing users single sign-on for applications and the security of Azure Multi-Factor Authentication and machine learning to prevent unauthorized access to applications.

About the Author

David Hamilton is a Toronto-based technology journalist who has written for the National Post and other news outlets. He has covered the hosting industry internationally for the Web Host Industry Review with particular attention to innovative hosting solutions and the issues facing the industry. David is a graduate of Queen’s University and the Humber College School of Media Studies.

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