Tag Archives: developers

Meet the 2020 Imagine Cup EMEA Regional Finalists

For young developers with a vision for improving our world with technology, the Imagine Cup is the place to be. Students are challenged to form teams of one to three people and leverage innovative tech, like AI, to develop a project proposal and business idea to make a difference. We are consistently inspired by solutions students create to tackle social good issues, and the collaborative and innovative core of the competition is continuing with the selection of our 2020 Europe, Middle East, and Africa Regional Finalists.

These 10 teams will be traveling to Amsterdam, the Netherlands in March to compete for over USD20,000 total in prizing, Azure credits, plus the top two will win spots to advance to the 2020 Imagine Cup World Championship! During their Regional Final journey, teams will also have the chance to participate in an Entrepreneurship Day from the U.S. Department of Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) to refine their business pitches, receive mentorship from Microsoft experts, and experience cutting-edge technical innovation at Microsoft Ignite the Tour.

Introducing our EMEA finalist teams heading to Amsterdam!

Allez, Ukraine

Allez: Allez support personal development through sports experience. The team’s aim isn’t just to maximize the performance of an athlete, but to help coaches to growth individuals who are mentally ready to fight obstacles.

ALOIS, Sweden

ALOIS: ALOIS aims to revolutionize the treatment of depression worldwide and to free more people from their negative thought patterns. ALOIS is a social bot, which determines the user’s emotional state and finds the actual causes of the depression.

Casie, Switzerland

Casie: The team’s project is aimed at using facial keypoints as a parameter to track the sequence of emotions displayed by user and using an LSTM RNN in order to infer problems with learning.

The Knights, Kenya

WEEDING BOT: Weeding bot is an automated robot that maneuvers between crop rows as it weeds interrow and intra row weeds using artificial intelligence and a camera as a sensor, equipped with a robotic arm coupled with a gripper and plough-like weeding tool.

meCare, Russia 

meCare: The team are developing a solution for primary screening of malignant skin lesions at home.

Monica, Poland

Monica: Monica is a visual assistant for blind people that is integrated into smart glasses and responds to users requests via voice commands.

RedWalls, Tunisia

I-Remember: I-Remember is a two part mobile application designed for the well being of the both the Alzheimer’s patient and their caregivers.

Vhysio, United Kingdom

Vhysio: Vhysio is a machine learning web app utilising tensorflow.js, a cutting edge browser based Machine Learning library, to enable accessible physiotherapy for the Visually Impaired – talking through exercises by responding to users’ postures in real-time.

Team Wild Eye, Kenya

WildEye_KE: Wild Eye_KE seeks to bring technology to the wild to monitor & track animal activities & notify authorities in case animals stray away from the wildlife protected areas (WPAs), reducing poaching & human interaction with wild animals away from WPAs.

Team to be announced, Pakistan

The results of the 2020 Pakistan National Final have not yet been announced.

Congratulations to all finalists! Check out our recently announced Asia Regional Finalists to learn about more innovative projects in this year’s competition and get inspired. Stay tuned for the announcement of our last group of finalist teams from the Americas next month and follow the competition journey on Instagram and Twitter as students head to their in-person regional events to compete!

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Meet the 2020 Imagine Cup Asia Regional Finalists

For 18 years, student developers have brought their unique technology solutions to life with Imagine Cup to make a difference in the world around them. Starting with just an idea, students form teams of one to three people and leverage Microsoft technology to develop purpose-driven applications from what they’re most passionate about.

This competition year is no different, and the journey to the 2020 Imagine Cup World Championship is kicking off with the selection of the Asia Regional Finalists! From hundreds of teams who submitted projects to the Asia Online Semifinals, 10 teams have been chosen to advance to the Asia Regional Final in Singapore this February. Encompassing solutions tackling a drug scanning app to monitor authenticity and allergens, to a real-time computer vision physiotherapy tool, to an immersive virtual reality experience so young students can learn about different cultures, these student innovations are truly incredible and have the chance to create global impact.

At the Regional Final, all teams will participate in an Entrepreneur Day and receive in-person pitch training from the U.S. Department of Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST), and compete for prizing totaling over USD20,000 in cash plus Azure credits. The top two teams will win spots in the 2020 Imagine Cup World Championship in Seattle, Washington to present their projects live for the chance to take home USD100,000 and a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.

We’re excited to introduce this year’s Asia Regional Finalist teams!

Altruistic

Indonesia

Tanah Airku: Tanah Airku is immersive learning media using books, AR, and VR to deliver a complete cultural learning experience for children from 1st to 3rd grade.

Blume-India

India

Seguro Droga: The team developed an Android application which lets patients scan a drug’s RFID card to determine authenticity using Hyperledger Fabric on Azure VM, manage their drug purchases, and set filters for allergens.

EDVR

Nepal

EDVR: EDVR is a voice-controlled immersive Virtual Reality experience for dyslexic students enrolled in STEM education. EDVR aims to solve the problem of imparting STEM education for students with learning disabilities by enabling them to visualize, comprehend, and conceptualize.

Hollo

Hong Kong

Hollo: Hollo is a Social Technology Enterprise based in Hong Kong. The team is developing a comprehensive tool for NGOs, therapists, and youth living with mental illness to advance therapy practices using technology such as Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.

Muses

China

AI Composition System: Using AI, The Muse Artificial Intelligence Composer is a low-cost solution to create music for commercial use, providing a new solution for some commercial music creations that have lower creative requirements and are more cost effective. 

Nutone 

Japan

NUTONE: The team’s device restores the ability to speak for patients who have lost their voice (through reasons such as laryngectomes).

TAZS

India

FaceTag: The team created a solution for bottlenecked gateways in a daily commute: specifically the entry and exit points at metro stations. FastTag tollways enable commuters to simply walk in, have their face scanned, and have the toll deducted automatically from their wallet.

Team Zest

Singapore

Dr. Rehab: Dr. Rehab is a mobile application for real-time physiotherapy supervision through computer vision. Users can access the rehabilitation exercises assigned to them, follow guided instructions, and receive feedback while completing their exercises.

Tulibot Team

Indonesia

Tulibot: Tulibot is an integrated assistive device to bridge the communication gap for the deaf by providing a smart glove (gesture to text) and smart glasses (speech to text).

Vibra

Singapore

Vibra-Intellisense: Vibra-IntelliSense aims to help companies transition from traditional preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance through the use of sensors. The sensors capture machine vibrations to detect anomalies and recommend maintenance efforts.

Congratulations to our finalists! Follow their competition journey on Twitter and Instagram as they head to Singapore in February to compete in the Regional Final, co-located with Microsoft Ignite | The Tour. Students will have the opportunity to connect with the tech community and get hands-on with the latest in developer tools and cloud technologies.

Are you passionate about using tech for social good to solve some of today’s most pressing challenges? Imagine Cup Asia and EMEA submissions are now closed but Americas regional submissions are open until January 15! Register now for a chance to join students across the globe making an impact with technology.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Salesforce Trailblazer community must keep pace to fuel growth

Salesforce customers need help to use Salesforce. It takes self-trained, motivated admins, developers and consultants to plug the Salesforce platform into a company’s operations. If it’s a successful implementation, it takes even more talent to scale up as the Salesforce customer’s business grows.

On its present growth trajectory in the wake of acquiring Tableau and MuleSoft, Salesforce will need to persuade triple the current number of these independent experts to join its tribe in the next decade. The number could end up being even higher, considering Salesforce customers like Heidi Melin, CMO of cloud office collaboration and project management provider Workfront, say they already see Salesforce admins and developers in short supply.

 “Salesforce is at a place from a scale and a breadth perspective that they should — and probably are — turning up their Trailblazer efforts,” said Melin, who added that many cloud software companies, including Workfront, need more skilled ambassadors to integrate their applications into their customers’ workflow to enable success. “The more people that are trained and are ready to use Salesforce, the higher propensity to influence their customers’ technology choices.”

To help develop the talent pool, Salesforce launched Trailhead, a free training site with an outdoorsy theme that includes a gamification element to mark learners’ progress. A Salesforce Trailblazer, or trainee, will then earn credentials called “badges” and gain skills following guided training paths. Trailblazers earn “superbadges” to show advanced competencies in areas such as app development, data management and Salesforce administration, as well as AI and analytics capabilities.

“This is part of the brilliance of Salesforce, building and continuing to curate this massive community of people — most of whom are not, and have never been — employed by Salesforce but are activists and fanatical fans out there,” said Constellation Research analyst Nicole France. “They’re involved on a daily basis using and shaping Salesforce systems.”

The genesis of Salesforce Trailblazers

Considering Salesforce just passed its 20th anniversary, Trailhead is relatively new, given that it debuted in 2014. New training videos and a mobile app were among the upgrades highlighted at its Dreamforce conference last month.

Sarah Franklin, executive vice president and general manager of platform, Trailhead and developers at Salesforce, helped create Trailhead from scratch. The idea, she said, was to make the training accessible and consumable by anyone, anywhere. That requires plain language, free of jargon, as well as making content renderable for people with disabilities. She said she wants everyone who wants to be a Salesforce Trailblazer — Salesforce’s word for customers and Trailhead learners — to join the community.

“There’s a bunch of generic words names in the industry — citizen developers, champions,” Franklin said, adding that Salesforce wanted to create a Trailhead culture where the people earning the badges were being celebrated, not Salesforce itself. She had to convince Benioff to use that particular word, Trailblazer, which is now emblazoned in white script lettering on black hoodies ubiquitous at Salesforce user gatherings.

We wanted to give our community an identity that they can relate to, and that they own.
Sarah Franklin Executive vice president and general manager of platform, Trailhead and developers at Salesforce

“The hoodie is symbolic. What is written is not ‘Trailhead.’ It’s not ‘Salesforce.’ We did not take a Salesforce logo and plaster it on their chest,” Franklin said. “We wanted to give our community an identity that they can relate to, and that they own.”

More than 1.7 million Salesforce Trailblazers have earned more than 17.5 million badges, according to the company, with 25% of Trailhead users indicating in a recent IDC report that a badge earned them a new job. Career site Indeed.com said job postings for Salesforce developers increased 129% from 2018 to 2019.

Salesforce Trailblazer roadmap: No-cost bachelor’s degrees

Over the next decade, Franklin’s setting her sights on making Trailhead a venue where users can earn a free bachelor’s degree. It must be fully accredited, she said, because accreditation is “the one thing employers have from our government to filter out applicants from skilled labor positions.”

If her team’s successful in doing that, it will give Trailhead a flashy tool to recruit more admins and developers to keep up with market demand and help lay a foundation for the future of Salesforce.

Another part of Franklin’s Trailhead strategy is to focus on diversity and inclusivity, and to find people ripe for job retraining such as recently discharged military veterans re-entering the civilian world.

 Salesforce Trailblazer Sheldon Simmons
U.S. Navy veteran and Texas Salesforce consultant Sheldon Simmons, pictured here at Dreamforce 2019 with co-CEO Keith Block, forged a post-military tech career by taking free Trailhead courses.

That was the case for Sheldon Simmons, a Navy boatswain’s mate who fueled aircraft for eight years and bounced around the Austin, Texas, region after discharge. Working at a semiconductor plant and living part-time in his car, he took a Java course at a community college, which didn’t pan out to a job as he’d hoped. After that, a representative from the Merivis Foundation, a group that connects military veterans with Salesforce employment, introduced Simmons to Trailhead.

Five Trailhead badges later, Simmons is a Salesforce consultant with three years’ experience under his belt. Last month, Salesforce featured Simmons in a Dreamforce keynote with Salesforce co-CEO Keith Block.

“My [Navy] job wasn’t technical, so when I got out of the service, no one was going to hire me as a gas man,” said Simmons, who now recruits fellow veterans for Salesforce Trailblazer training as a Merivis Foundation board member. He said he believes vets bring attitude and perspective that is conducive to success working on Salesforce teams.

“Sometimes I hear people complain about stuff, and I’m like, ‘Man, at least we get to go home, at least we’re not sleeping on a helicopter in 120-degree weather,'” Simmons said. “I remember those times and what I would give to be sitting in an office right now. There’s nothing that’s going to rattle me, and the work isn’t going to be too much.”

This is the second of two parts on how Salesforce can serve its customers while chasing ambitious growth. Read the first part here.

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Accelerate IoMT on FHIR with new Microsoft OSS Connector

Microsoft is expanding the ecosystem of FHIR® for developers with a new tool to securely ingest, normalize, and persist Protected Health Information (PHI) from IoMT devices in the cloud.  

Continuing our commitment to remove the barriers of interoperability in healthcare, we are excited to expand our portfolio of Open Source Software (OSS) to support the HL7 FHIR Standard (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource). The release of the new IoMT FHIR Connector for Azure is available today in GitHub.


An illustration of medical data being connected to FHIR with IoMT FHIR Connector for Azure

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is the subset of IoT devices that capture and transmit patient health data. It represents one of the largest technology revolutions changing the way we deliver healthcare, but IoMT also presents a big challenge for data management.

Data from IoMT devices is often high frequency, high volume, and requires sub-second measurements. Developers have to deal with a range of devices and schemas, from sensors worn on the body, ambient data capture devices, applications that document patient reported outcomes, and even devices that only require the patient to be within a few meters of a sensor.

Traditional healthcare providers, innovators, and even pharma and life sciences researchers are ushering in a new era of healthcare that leverages machine learning and analytics from IoMT devices. Most see a future where devices monitoring patients in their daily lives will be used as a standard approach to deliver cost savings, improve patient visibility outside of the physician’s office, and to create new insights for patient care. Yet as new IoMT apps and solutions are developed, two consistent barriers are preventing broad scalability of these solutions: interoperability of IoMT device data with the rest of the healthcare data, such as clinical or pharmaceutical records, and the security and private exchange of protected health information (PHI) from these devices in the cloud.

In the last several years, the provider ecosystem began to embrace the open source standard of FHIR as a solution for interoperability. FHIR is rapidly becoming the preferred standard for exchanging and managing healthcare information in electronic format and has been most successful in the exchange of clinical health records. We wanted to expand the ecosystem and help developers working with IoMT devices to normalize their data output in FHIR. The robust, extensible data model of FHIR standardizes the semantics of healthcare data and defines standards for exchange, so it fuels interoperability across data systems. We imagined a world where data from multiple device inputs and clinical health data sets could be quickly normalized around FHIR and work together in just minutes, without the added cost and engineering work to manage custom configurations and integration with each and every device and app interface. We wanted to deliver foundational technology that developers could trust so they could focus on innovation. And today, we’re releasing the IoMT FHIR Connector for Azure.

This OSS release opens an exciting new horizon for healthcare data management. It provides a simple tool that can empower application developers and technical professionals working with data from devices to quickly ingest and transform that data into FHIR. By connecting to the Azure API for FHIR, developers can set up a robust and secure pipeline to manage data from IoMT devices in the cloud.

The IoMT FHIR Connector for Azure enables easy deployment in minutes, so developers can begin managing IoMT data in a FHIR Server that supports the latest R4 version of FHIR:

  • Rapid provisioning for ingestion of IoMT data and connectivity to a designated FHIR Server for secure, private, and compliant persistence of PHI data in the cloud
  • Normalization and integrated mapping to transform data to the HL7 FHIR R4 Standard
  • Seamless connectivity with Azure Stream Analytics to query and refine IoMT data in real-time
  • Simplified IoMT device management and the ability to scale through Azure IoT services (including Azure IoT Hub or Azure IoT Central)
  • Secure management for PHI data in the cloud, the IoMT FHIR Connector for Azure has been developed for HIPAA, HITRUST, and GDPR compliance and in full support of requirements for protected health information (PHI)

To enhance scale and connectivity with common patient-facing platforms that collect device data, we’ve also created a FHIR HealthKit framework that works with the IoMT FHIR Connector. If patients are managing data from multiple devices through the Apple Health application, a developer can use the IoMT FHIR Connector to quickly ingest data from all of the devices through the HealthKit API and export it to their FHIR server.

Playing with FHIR
The Microsoft Health engineering team is fully backing this open source project, but like all open source, we are excited to see it grow and improve based on the community’s feedback and contributions. Next week we’ll be joining developers around the world for FHIR Dev Days in Amsterdam to play with the new IoMT FHIR Connector for Azure. Learn more about the architecture of the IoMT FHIR Connector and how to contribute to the project on our GitHub page.


FHIR® is the registered trademark of HL7 and is used with the permission of HL7

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Microsoft Ignite 2019 conference coverage

Editor’s note

For Microsoft, it’s all cloud, all the time.

No matter the market — education, developers or enterprise — the technology giant continues to expand and heavily market its cloud offerings to those groups. And for good reason. Sales related to cloud products continue to go through the roof, totaling $11 billion in a recent earnings release.

It’s not all from traditional server workloads running on Azure. Microsoft says it has more than 180 million users on its Office 365 collaboration platform. The company expects its investments in AI, a good portion of which will have its roots in Azure, will pay off in the future.

This guide highlights the company’s recent moves in the marketplace. Check back during the Microsoft Ignite 2019 conference, being held Nov. 4 to 8 in Orlando, Fla., for articles about product updates and new offerings.

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New Features Added to Altaro Office 365 Backup for Businesses

Our developers have been hard at work again recently and I’m happy to be able to bring you some great product news once again!

SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business Data Protection Now Available in Altaro Office 365 Backup

It often comes as a surprise that Microsoft doesn’t provide point-in-time restoration capabilities long-term for SharePoint Online and One Drive for Business. Many businesses find themselves in a situation where they require longer point-in-time capabilities than what is provided by Microsoft directly. This is where our latest product offering comes in. Altaro Office 365 backs up Office 365 mailboxes as well as SharePoint Online and One Drive for Business files simply and quickly, so you can rest easy that your data is safe and recoverable when the need arises.

If you’re familiar with the Altaro suite of backup solutions, you have likely heard about the addition of support for both SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business in our recent Altaro Office 365 Backup Announcement for MSPs. Both services are key for the storage of next-generation workloads and this update has been well received as a result. The good news for you is that we’re now bringing that same SharePoint Online and One Drive for Business support to those privately held companies (non-MSPs) and IT departments! This means that even if you’re not an MSP, you’ll still get to take advantage of these great data protection features!

Altaro Office 365 Backup

Other Updates

We’ve made a few other improvements to the product as well! Some things that have been requested by popular demand, and we are happy to include them as well!

Tamper-Proof Audit Logs – This ensures that companies can meet their compliance requirements with respect to changes in content, such as user backup enablement or suspension, content restoration from a mailbox, OneDrive or SharePoint, and browsing user data. It is possible to export the audit.

Restricted User Account Access – Administrators now have the ability to prevent certain users in their team from browsing backups or performing restores. This will provide a bit more granular access and protection to your team and organization.

Free 30-day trial

Start your Altaro Office 365 Backup free trial with no commitment for 30 days.

Read more about this great product that is making waves in the industry!

Andy Syrewicze

I currently have the distinct pleasure of acting as a Technical Evangelist for Altaro Software, makers of Altaro VM Backup. I’m heavily involved in IT community, on Altaro’s behalf, in a number of different ways, including, podcasts, webinars, blogging and public speaking. Prior to that, I spent the last 12+ years providing technology solutions across several industry verticals working for MSPs and Internal IT Departments. My areas of focus include, Virtualization, Cloud Services, VMware and the Microsoft Server Stack, with an emphasis on Hyper-V and Clustering. Outside of my day job, I spend a great deal of time working with the IT community, I’m a published author, and I’ve had the great honor of being named a Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP by Microsoft. I have a passion for technology and always enjoy talking about tech with peers, customers and IT pros over a cup of coffee or a cold beer.

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Author: Andy Syrewicze

Eclipse launches Che 7 IDE for Kubernetes development

SAN FRANCISCO — The Eclipse Foundation has introduced Eclipse Che 7, a new developer workspace server and IDE to help developers build cloud-native, enterprise applications on Kubernetes.

The foundation debuted the new technology at the Oracle Code One conference here. Eclipse Che is essentially a cloud-based IDE built on technology Red Hat acquired from Codenvy, and Red Hat developers are still heavily involved with the Eclipse project. With a focus on Kubernetes, Eclipse Che 7 abstracts away some of the development complexities associated with Kubernetes and helps to close the gap between the development and operations environments, said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation.

“We think this is important because it’s the first cloud-based IDE that tends to be natively Kubernetes,” he said. “It provides all of the pieces that a cognitive developer needs to be able to build and deploy a Kubernetes application.”

Eclipse Che 7 helps developers who may not be so familiar with Kubernetes by providing not just the IDE, but also its plug-ins and their dependencies. In addition, Che 7 automatically adds all the build and debugging tools developers need for their applications.

Mike MilinkovichMike Milinkovich

“It helps reduce the learning curve that’s related to Kubernetes that a lot of developers struggle with, in terms of setting up Kubernetes and getting their first apps locations up and running on Kubernetes,” Milinkovich said.

The technology can be deployed on a public Kubernetes cluster or an on-premises data center, and it provides centrally hosted private developer workspaces. In addition, the Eclipse Che IDE is based on an extended version of Eclipse Theia that provides an in-browser experience like Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code, Milinkovich said.

Eclipse Che and Eclipse Theia are part of cloud-native offerings from vendors such as Google, IBM and Broadcom. And it lies at the core of Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces, a development for Red Hat OpenShift.

Moreover, Broadcom’s CA Brightside product uses Eclipse Che to bring a modern, open approach to the mainframe platform. Che also integrates with IBM Codewind to provide a low barrier to entry for developing in a production container environment.

Kubernetes is hard to manage, so it will be helpful to have an out-of-the-box offering from an IDE vendor.
Holger MuellerAnalyst, Constellation Research

“It had to happen, and it happened sooner than later: The first IDE delivered inside Kubernetes,” said Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research.

There are benefits of having developers build software with the same mechanics and platforms on the IDE side as their target production environment, he explained, including similar experience and faster code deployments.

“And Kubernetes is hard to manage, so it will be helpful to have an out-of-the-box offering from an IDE vendor,” Mueller said. “But nothing beats the advantage of being able to standardize and quickly launch uniform and consistent developer environments. This gives development team scale to build their next-gen applications and helps their enterprise accelerate.”

Eclipse joins a group that includes major vendors that want to limit the complexity of Kubernetes. IBM and VMware recently introduced technology to reduce Kubernetes complexity for developers and operations staff.

For instance, IBM’s Kabanero open source project to simplify development and deployment of apps on Kubernetes uses Che as its hosted IDE.

The future of developer tools will be cloud-based, Milinkovich said. “Because of the complexity of the application scenarios today, developers are spending a lot of their time and energy building out development environments when they could just move developer workspaces into containers,” he said. “It’s far easier to update the entire development team to new runtime requirements. And you can push out new tools across the entire development team.”

The IDE is the last big piece of technology that developers use on a daily basis that has not moved into the cloud, so moving the IDE into the cloud is the next logical step, Milinkovich said.

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Cohesity Agile Dev and Test quickly delivers clean test data

Cohesity wants to make it easier for developers to get copies of data quickly.

Cohesity Agile Dev and Test, released into beta this week, is an add-on to Cohesity DataPlatform.  The feature makes clones of data sets stored by DataPlatform, allowing test/dev teams to access data without going through other teams.

Cohesity Agile Dev and Test allows DevOps teams to provision backup data without having to go through a typical request-fulfill model.

Usually when developers need a copy of the business’s data for testing or development, they would have to request it from the production or backup teams. This data needs to be accurate and up-to-date for ideal test results, but it also has to be scrubbed of personally identifiable information (PII) and otherwise masked to prevent exposing the test/dev teams to compliance issues. The process could take weeks, which is too long for time-sensitive development such as Agile projects and anything to do with machine learning.

Cohesity claims its software performs data masking before it is pulled to ensure test/dev teams have a “clean” copy to work with.

Similar products that use backup copies of data for test/dev purposes already exist, such as Actifio Sky and Cohesity’s own CloudSpin. The difference with Cohesity Agile Dev and Test is the data doesn’t need to be stood up in its own environment — it doesn’t create a separate silo of data. Sky and CloudSpin spin up the data into another environment, such as a physical server or virtual machine.

screenshot of Cohesity Agile Dev and Test
Cohesity Agile Dev and Test creates data clones, which don’t need to be stood up in another environment, rather than data copies.

Old idea, new implementation

Christophe Bertrand, senior analyst at IT research firm Enterprise Strategy Group, said Cohesity Agile Dev and Test doesn’t solve a technology problem so much as a workflow one. Making copies is nothing new, but a streamlined way to get those copies into the hands of test/dev people is.

“We’ve known for a very long time how to replicate data, but the workflow behind it is not really in place,” said Bertrand. “This is just the next step. It’s exactly what they [Cohesity] should be doing.”

Bertrand said his research shows that many enterprises want to make use of copies of data, to transform from simply having backup copies toward a model of intelligent data management. Businesses want interconnectivity across the organization to ensure any IT operation can access and make use of data. Bertrand said the market is headed in that direction as organizations that can develop faster are inherently at an advantage.

The test/dev people want data that is fresh, compliant, secure and not corrupted. They want to be able to access this data quickly and independently, in order to rapidly turn around their projects. It’s a different audience from the backup admin group, said Bertrand, as they’re not worried about things like availability and RTO/RPO.

The DevOps person doesn’t know or care about the intricacies of DR or backup.
Christophe BertrandSenior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

“The DevOps person doesn’t know or care about the intricacies of DR or backup,” Bertrand said.

Bertrand said Cohesity Agile Dev and Test’s main value proposition is that it gives test/dev teams the ability to get great data instantly. They don’t need to know everything about that data.

Cohesity Agile Dev and Test is scheduled for release in the Pegasus 6.4.1 update, expected in late 2019. It will be sold as an add-on capability on Cohesity DataPlatform, and customers will be charged on a usage-based pricing model.

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Building cloud-native applications with Azure and HashiCorp

With each passing year, more and more developers are building cloud-native applications. As developers build more complex applications they are looking to innovators like Microsoft Azure and HashiCorp to reduce the complexity of building and operating these applications. HashiCorp and Azure have worked together on a myriad of innovations. Examples of this innovation include tools that connect cloud-native applications to legacy infrastructure and tools that secure and automate the continuous deployment of customer applications and infrastructure. Azure is deeply committed to being the best platform for open source software developers like HashiCorp to deliver their tools to their customers in an easy-to use, integrated way. Azure innovation like the managed applications platform that power HashiCorp’s Consul Service on Azure are great examples of this commitment to collaboration and a vibrant open source startup ecosystem. We’re also committed to the development of open standards that help these ecosystems move forward and we’re thrilled to have been able to collaborate with HashiCorp on both the CNAB (Cloud Native Application Bundle) and SMI (Service Mesh Interface) specifications.

Last year at HashiConf 2018, I had the opportunity to share how we had started to integrate Terraform and Packer into the Azure platform. I’m incredibly excited to get the opportunity to return this year to share how these integrations are progressing and to share a new collaboration on cloud native networking. With this new work we now have collaborations that help customers connect and operate their applications on Azure using HashiCorp technology.

Connect — HashiCorp Consul Service on Azure

After containers and Kubernetes, one of the most important innovations in microservices has been the development of the concept of a service mesh. Earlier this year we partnered with HashiCorp and others to announce the release of Service Mesh Interface, a collaborative, implementation agnostic API for the configuration and deployment of service mesh technology. We collaborated with HashiCorp to produce a control rules implementation of the traffic access control (TAC) using Consul Connect. Today we’re excited that Azure customers can take advantage of HashiCorp Consul Services on Azure powered by the Azure Managed Applications platform. HashiCorp Consul provides a solution to simplify and secure service networking and with this new managed offering, our joint customers can focus on the value of Consul while confident that the experts at HashiCorp are taking care of the management of the service. Reducing complexity for customers and enabling them to focus on cloud native innovation.

Provision — HashiCorp Terraform on Azure

HashiCorp Terraform is a great tool for doing declarative deployment to Azure. We’re seeing great momentum with adoption of HashiCorp Terraform on Azure as the number of customers has doubled since the beginning of the year – customers are using Terraform to automate Azure infrastructure deployment and operation in a variety of scenarios. 

The momentum is fantastic on the contribution front as well with nearly 180 unique contributors to the Terraform provider for Azure Resource Manager. The involvement from the community with our increased 3-week cadence of releases (currently at version 1.32) ensures more coverage of Azure services by Terraform. Additionally, after customer and community feedback regarding the need for additional Terraform modules for Azure, we’ve been working hard at adding high quality modules and now have doubled the number of Azure modules in the terraform registry, bringing it to over 120 modules. 

We believe all these additional integrations enable customers to manage infrastructure as code more easily and simplify managing their cloud environments. Learn more about Terraform on Azure.

Microsoft and HashiCorp are working together to provide integrated support for Terraform on Azure. Customers using Terraform on Microsoft’s Azure cloud are mutual customers, and both companies are united to provide troubleshooting and support services. This joint entitlement process provides collaborative support across companies and platforms while delivering a seamless customer experience. Customers using Terraform Provider for Azure can file support tickets to Microsoft support. Customers using Terraform on Azure support can file support tickets to Microsoft or HashiCorp.

Deploy — Collaborating on Cloud Native Application Bundles specification

One of the critical problems solved by containers is the hermetic packaging of a binary into a package that is easy to share and deploy around the world. But a cloud-native application is more than a binary, and this is what led to the co-development, with HashiCorp and others, of the Coud Native Application Bundle (CNAB) specification. CNABs  allow you to package images alongside configuration tools like Terraform and other artifacts to allow a user to seamlessly deploy an application from a single package. I’ve been excited to see the community work together to build the specification to a 1.0 release that shows CNAB is ready for all of the world’s deployment needs. Congratulations to the team on the work and the fantastic partnership.

If you want to learn more about the ways in which Azure and HashiCorp collaborate to make cloud-native development easier, please check out the links below:

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Announcing Azure Pipelines with unlimited CI/CD minutes for open source

With the introduction of Azure DevOps today, we’re offering developers a new CI/CD service called Azure Pipelines that enables you to continuously build, test, and deploy to any platform or cloud. It has cloud-hosted agents for Linux, macOS, and Windows, powerful workflows with native container support, and flexible deployments to Kubernetes, VMs, and serverless environments.

Microsoft is committed to fueling open source software development. Our next step in this journey is to provide the best CI/CD experience for open source projects. Starting today, Azure Pipelines provides unlimited CI/CD minutes and 10 parallel jobs to every open source project for free. All open source projects run on the same infrastructure that our paying customers use. That means you’ll have the same fast performance and high quality of service. Many of the top open source projects are already using Azure Pipelines for CI/CD, such as Atom, CPython, Pipenv, Tox, Visual Studio Code, and TypeScript – and the list is growing every day.

In the following, you can see Atom running parallel jobs on Linux, macOS, and Windows for its CI.

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Azure Pipelines app on GitHub Marketplace

Azure Pipelines has an app in the GitHub Marketplace so it’s easy to get started. After you install the app in your GitHub account, you can start running CI/CD for all your repositories.

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Pull Request and CI Checks

When the GitHub app is setup, you’ll see CI/CD checks on each commit to your default branch and every pull request.

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Our integration with the GitHub Checks API makes it easy to see build results in your pull request. If there’s a failure, the call stack is shown as well as the impacted files.

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More than just open source

Azure Pipelines is also great for private repositories. It is the CI/CD solution for companies like Columbia, Shell, Accenture, and many others. It’s also used by Microsoft’s biggest projects like Azure, Office 365, and Bing. Our free offer for private projects includes a cloud-hosted job with 1,800 minutes of CI/CD a month or you can run unlimited minutes of CI/CD on your own hardware, hosted in the cloud or your on-premises hardware. You can purchase parallel jobs for private projects from Azure DevOps or the GitHub Marketplace.

In addition to CI, Azure Pipelines has flexible deployments to any platform and cloud, including Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform, as well as any of your on-premises server running Linux, macOS or Windows. There are built-in tasks for Kubernetes, serverless, and VM deployments. Also, there’s a rich ecosystem of extensions for the most popular languages and tools. The Azure Pipelines agent and tasks are open source and we’re always reviewing feedback and accepting pull requests on GitHub.

Join our upcoming live streams to learn more about Azure Pipelines and other Azure DevOps services.

  • Keynote: Watch our live Azure DevOps keynote on September 11, 2018 from 8:00 – 9:30 AM Pacific Time.

  • Live training: Join our live Mixer workshop with interactive Q&A on September 17, 2018 from 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM Pacific Time.

You can save-the-date and watch both live streams on our events page. There you’ll also find additional on-demand videos and other resources to help get you started.

I’m excited for you to try Azure Pipelines and tell us what you think. You can share your thoughts directly to the product team using @AzureDevOps, Developer Community, or comment on this post.

Jeremy Epling

@jeremy_epling