Azure Updates Announced At MS Connect()
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Friday, 17 November 2017

Microsoft has announced a number of extras and improvements for Azure at its Connect() virtual event this week, including support for Databricks, Cassandra API, and Maria DB. Poor old Access and SQL Server seem to have been sidelined.

There's a preview of Azure Databricks, the Apache Spark-based analytics platform and described by Scott Guthrie as “the first Spark-as-a-service of any of the cloud vendors.” The preview has been optimized for Azure, and supports streamlined workflows and an interactive workspace where developers and data scientists can collaborate. The preview has native integration with Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Storage, Azure Cosmos DB, and Power BI.

There's a Microsoft Channel 9 video explaining Azure Databricks:


The next announcement is the addition of an Apache Cassandra API for Cosmos DB. Cosmos DB was announced earlier is the year as a continuation/replacement for Document DB, Microsoft's NoSQL database. Cosmos DB provides a globally distributed, multi-model database service that gives you control over how you store data and scale throughput across Azure's geographic regions.


The Cassandra API gives a way to use Cassandra as-a-service, working with its own SDKs and tools on Azure Cosmos DB without having to make code changes to Cassandra applications. Other improvements to Cosmos DB include the ability to configure database accounts spanning multiple regions with strong consistency; and the general availability of the Tables Storage API and Spark API. The Gremlin Graph API will also soon be made generally available.

Microsoft also announced it is joining the MariaDB Foundation as a platinum sponsor to:

"further the open collaboration of the MariaDB ecosystem".

The bizarre nature of Microsoft joining the MariaDB Foundation was largely swamped by the number of other open source-related announcements, but is still noteworthy showing how things are changing for Microsoft and the open source community. This announcement was made alongside that of a preview for Azure Database for MariaDB to join both the Azure Database for MySQL and Azure Database for PostgreSQL services.

Another announcement was of a preview of SQL Operations Studio, a new tool for developers and DBAs that is lightweight and works cross-platform, including MacOS, Linux, and Windows. The tool lets you make schema changes, and carry out admin tasks including rollbacks, restores, monitoring, and source control for SQL Server on Linux, Docker, and Windows, Azure SQL Database, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse.




Other announcements for Azure include the preview of the Azure Database Migration Service for moving on-premises SQL Server to Azure SQL Database; there's also apreview of a new deployment option in Azure SQL Database, Managed Instance that will have full engine compatibility with existing SQL Server deployments including capabilities like SQLAgent, DBMail, and Change Data Capture.



More Information

Azure Databricks

Azure Cosmos DB with Apache Cassandra API

SQL Operations Studio

Related Articles

Cosmos DB Strengthens Microsoft's Azure Database

Cassandra 2.0 Available

Spark Free Databricks Edition

Azure ML Enhancements

Azure Data Lake Tools For VS Released


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Last Updated ( Friday, 17 November 2017 )