Notes from Microsoft Tech Ed 2014 Day One

Last month Microsoft had their Build Conference in San Francisco, CA where they made a number of announcements and officially introduced elements such as Universal Apps. While Build is Microsoft’s Conference for developers, that doesn’t mean they can’t get a ton out of Microsoft’s Tech Ed show as well. While a majority of Tech Ed is aimed at IT Pros, there are some good sessions and tidbits for developers to gain as well.

Tech Ed officially kicked off today (there were pre-conference sessions yesterday). The keynote, which was hosted by Brad Anderson, Corporate VP of Cloud & Enterprise, was loaded with a lot of announcements. Many of the announcements centered on Microsoft Azure. Here are a few of the nuggets from today’s keynote:

  • According to Microsoft, it is becoming a mobile first and cloud world. They provided a preview of ASP.NET vNext along with Visual Studio tooling for the Apache Cordova platform. Specifically, Microsoft announced a preview of Visual Studio tooling for Apache Cordova that allows developers to use HTML and JavaScript to build cross platform, multi-device applications that can target Windows, Android, and iOS natively.
  • If you are working with a data center, you should consider public cloud as a part of your solution.
  • There are a lot of new and improved areas within Microsoft Azure:
    • Cloud Intensive Virtual Machines
    • Express Route
    • Azure Files (in preview)
    • Cloud App Discovery
    • Windows Network Enhancements
    • Microsoft Azure RemoteApp
  • Microsoft announced a number of services to provide between on-premises investments and the public cloud.
  • Microsoft announced services that will deliver protected mobile productivity across mobile phones.
  • Azure API Management was also announced. This centers on helping people expose and share APIs through the cloud.
  • Microsoft also extended Visual Studio Online with a set of APIs and service hooks that make it easier to integrate with third party services. This will allow Visual Studio online to be easier to integrate with existing tools. In fact, Microsoft has worked to provide integration with a number of tools and services already including Zendesk, VS Anywhere, Flowdock, Zapier, SourceClear, AppHarbor,, and many more. Even though this is only in preview, you can read about how Microsoft is working with REST, oAUTH, Jason, and service hooks to make this work. More information is available in Brian Harry’s blog post, A new API for Visual Studio Online.
  • Mentioned at Build, Microsoft reiterated their partnership with Xamarin and the focus on open APIs and source code. Developers who use Microsoft technology (C#), currently have the ability to target native apps for iOS, Android, and Windows all from the same common core code base using existing knowledge.

Of course, this is just my short list. I have more notes I’ll be posting over the next few days that include some of the details Brian Harry shared on Visual Studio Online as well as other topics including Applications Insights and more.

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