What’s New With Microsoft in Autumn 2020

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Written by Kurt Maslowski, Steven Boniface, Ahn Dong, Brandon Fleahman and Dave Moen
on September 30, 2020

There are so many great things happening in the Microsoft space these days, it’s hard to keep track of them all. I for one continue to be amazed at the pace in which Microsoft releases new Azure products. With hundreds of available products surrounding compute, storage, data and IoT, there are many ways to take advantage of the cloud to become more efficient, effective and competitive.

Azure Migrate

One cloud technology that I continue to see solid improvements to is Azure Migrate. Azure Migrate is a centralized hub that allows customers to track discovery, assessment and migration of on-premises infrastructure, applications and data to Azure. At the last Inspire Partner conference, Microsoft released a new feature that allows customers to conduct much richer data center assessments. For those of you thinking about moving to the cloud, the Migrate hub will give you a great sense as to your readiness to do so and save you a lot of time and effort in the process.

I recently asked some of SDG’s senior engineers what Microsoft technologies they are excited about. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

.NET 5

I’m looking forward to the .NET 5 release this November the most. Since the .NET team announced .NET 5 in 2019, more details surrounding the capabilities and advantages of the new platform have since been shared with the community. For me, the most exciting news to emerge from these details is that the new platform will simplify and unify nearly all “core” categories of software development – mobile, web, desktop, IoT, cloud (to name a few) which allows accessibility to a multitude of platforms. With .NET 5, you can build anything for any platform using any major operating system with one set of tools.

“This will greatly simplify the development experience, as well as fine-tune the focus to one, open source .NET platform for the community to maintain, expand and enhance for years to come.”

– Steven Boniface

C# 9

Microsoft continues to do a good job of introducing new platforms and new versions of programming languages to improve software applications and allow developers to write code easier, faster, and more effective. I’m very excited about C# 9.0 as it will introduce a lot of new and improved features. According to devblogs.microsoft.com, “immutable representation of data shapes” will be presented in C# 9.0. This can be done at the individual property level using Init-only and at the whole object level using Records. Both of those will be useful for making an object to play like a value.

“I believe Microsoft will continue to introduce and improve more features in C# 9.0 after its release this November.”

– Anh Dong

Blazor

We’ve been hearing about Microsoft’s Blazor for a couple years now, but it has yet to be widely adopted. We are finally starting to hear a few of our customers mention this new framework when talking about front end work. Blazor looks to be very promising, as it is not immediately coming in and trying to directly replace a previous technology, mainly JavaScript. You can write front end code in C# and you will be able to reuse existing backend code within your project as well as other libraries. Blazor possesses the ability to run code customer-side directly in the browser and can also execute things on the server side as well. Blazor also adheres to the component UI design, so it will be reusable and help with consistency across your solution. Lastly you can still integrate with JavaScript, so integrating this into an existing solution should be more than doable.

“As with any new technology there are sure to be some gotcha’s, but it really does look exciting from what we’ve seen thus far. It will be interesting to see if this is widely adopted and if so, what the future will bring.”

– Brandon Fleahman

Visual Studio Code

This is rapidly becoming developers favorite IDE. A few things that set VS Code apart from other IDEs (including Visual Studio, my all-time favorite) include:

  • It’s cross platform. You can get VS Code on Linux, MacOS and Windows. I’ve used VS Code on all 3 platforms and can say that it works the same on all of them.
  • Extensions. There is an extremely active community writing extensions to VS Code, and each adds functionality to the base product. Want to connect to a database? Work with Docker commands in the IDE? View your Git branches and commit history right inside your IDE? Yep, there extensions for that and MANY more features.
  • Lots of different languages are supported. C#, JavaScript, TypeScript, NodeJS, PowerShell, Python, PHP, Java, SQL, Go, Less and HTML are all supported with intellisense, compilers and debuggers. What that means for a developer is that they can continue using the same IDE whenever they change languages, with the setup they are familiar with.
  • It’s lightweight. It just feels quick, both when loading and when running and debugging apps.

“It’s very customizable. From the color theming, to window placement, to fonts the developer can make VS Code their own. If you want to share your configuration you make by sharing the JSON config file, or by committing it to source control.”

– Dave Moen

These are just a few of the things our team at SDG is excited about happening at Microsoft. SDG continually monitors and protypes new offerings and capabilities in the Microsoft space so we can continue to deliver successful results to our customers.

 

If you would like to learn more about any of these specific technologies or discuss what solutions might help drive productivity in your business, let’s talk.

 

Thank you to the contributors: Steven Boniface, Ahn Dong, Brandon Fleahman and Dave Moen.