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Microsoft unveils new Azure Cloud portal at Build 2014, San Francisco

Brian Karlovsky | April 4, 2014
Azure brings together cross-platform technologies, services and tools via its new Microsoft Azure Preview Portal.

Microsoft has unveiled its new Azure Cloud portal at Build in San Francisco, which delivers a series of new tools and services to radically simplify Cloud development.

The new platform within Azure brings together cross-platform technologies, services and tools, enabling developers and businesses to innovate at start-up speed via a new Microsoft Azure Preview Portal.

The company also announced several new milestones in Visual Studio Online and .NET that give developers access to the platform and tools for building in the Cloud.

The announcements are part of Microsoft's broader vision to erase the boundaries of Cloud development and operational management for customers.

Microsoft executive vice president, Scott Guthrie, said developing for a mobile-first, Cloud-first world was complicated.

"Microsoft is working to simplify this world without sacrificing speed, choice, cost or quality," he said.

"Imagine a world where infrastructure and platform services blend together in one seamless experience, so developers and IT professionals no longer have to work in disparate environments in the Cloud.

"Microsoft has been rapidly innovating to solve this problem, and we have taken a big step toward that vision today."

According to a company statement, the new portal provides a fully integrated experience that will enable customers to develop and manage an application in one place, using the platform and tools of their choice.

It combines all the components of a Cloud application into a single development and management experience.

New components include simplified resource management, integrated billing and a gallery of applications and services from Microsoft and the open source community.

Microsoft also announced key enhancements through the Microsoft Azure Preview Portal.

This includes Team Projects supporting greater agility for application life-cycle management and the lightweight editor code-named 'Monaco' for modifying and committing web project code changes without leaving Azure.

Also included is Application Insights, an analytics solution that collects telemetry data such as availability, performance and usage information to track an application's health.

According to Microsoft, this Visual Studio integration will also enable developers to surface this data from new applications with a single click.

The company also announced new open source partnerships with Chef and Puppet Labs to run configuration management technologies in Azure Virtual Machines.

Using these community-driven technologies, customers will now be able to more easily deploy and configure in the Cloud.

It has also announced the release of Java Applications to Microsoft Azure web sites.

Guthrie said the company recognised that developing for the Cloud could be a challenge.

"But it shouldn't be," he said.

"Today marks an important milestone in our Cloud journey.

"We envision a world where customers can simply experience the benefits -- and the promise -- of the Cloud, without sacrificing scale, speed or cost.


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