Microsoft ️ developers: Welcome to Build 2021

This past year has been unlike any other, and developers have been critical to helping businesses in every industry and people everywhere respond and adapt to the challenges of a global pandemic. Developers have never been more important to the world – and it is increasingly clear that they are the next generation of digital creators.

As a company built by developers and for developers, our goal at Microsoft is to provide them with the agility to address the real-world needs of their customers. Developers and their teams need best-in-class tools and services that help them reduce the time it takes to go from an idea to value. Our ambition is to be the platform for platform creators and empower developers to build what comes next.

Microsoft has the richest developer tools in the world with the Visual Studio family, GitHub, and .NET. The Microsoft Cloud includes offerings such as Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, as well as our end-to-end security, identity and access management solutions. With the Microsoft Cloud, we have an incredibly comprehensive platform that developers can use to build apps and solutions to reach any person on the planet. We build products with developers in mind, which enables us to partner with our customers in their journey to support and accelerate developer velocity. ​

Over 95% of the world’s largest companies are running their businesses on the Microsoft Cloud today.  As industries are being stretched in new ways, public cloud adoption is a key ingredient to enable this type of essential transformation. Our goal with the Microsoft Cloud is to help our customers explore the art of the possible. Deeply understanding the unique experience of our customers, and learning key lessons from digital leaders on how they are reinventing the value they drive through building applications, is a fundamental part of our continued effort to recognize how organizations can accelerate business performance.

Throughout the Microsoft Build 2021 event, many of our customers will share how they are digitally transforming and reimagining how they engage with their employees and customers with the Microsoft Cloud. We are also sharing our latest Microsoft Cloud and Developer Tooling innovations, and how we are helping developers to build productively, collaborate securely and innovate at scale — no matter where they are.

Build productively

Microsoft has the world’s most beloved developer tools with Visual Studio, and with GitHub hosts the developer community where the world comes together to build software. Developers can use their favorite languages, open-source frameworks, and tools to code and deploy code to the cloud from anywhere, collaborating in a secure way, and integrating different components in no time with low-code solutions.

Visual Studio continues to be the favorite developer tool for professional developers worldwide with over 25 million monthly users. Today, the latest update of Visual Studio 2019 is generally available, and it includes productivity enhancements for .NET and C++ development, enhanced built-in Git tooling, support for creating GitHub Actions workflows directly from the IDE, improved container tooling and new Azure integrations for cloud development. Learn more about the latest innovations on the Visual Studio blog.

We recently announced our vision for the next major wave for Visual Studio, Visual Studio 2022, and today we are releasing the roadmap for Visual Studio 2022. As always, we are looking forward to hearing user feedback in our Developer Community to help us build the best IDE we can. We will soon release its first preview with a refreshed look and feel, along with an architecture change to 64-bit, which will provide significant scale and performance improvements for developers who are working with large or complex solutions. Stay tuned for more details!

One of the most common pain points for developers is setting up a development environment with everything you need to be productive. GitHub Codespaces enables any GitHub repo to become a fully configured development environment hosted within the cloud in seconds. Codespaces are fully configurable: you can choose how much compute is needed and can customize them to fit the needs of each project. To learn more, sign up for early access.

With over 145 million daily active users, Microsoft Teams is the digital platform for work which our customers rely on – integrating apps and business processes where collaboration takes place. With the increasing demand for real-time and asynchronous collaboration scenarios, developers have an opportunity to meet this need by building collaborative apps on Teams, powered by the Microsoft Cloud. New meeting features will enable developers to build innovative scenarios and extend Teams meetings – such as shared stage, Together Mode extensibility and more. And the enhanced Microsoft Teams Toolkit makes coding easier by providing single-line authentication, Azure Functions integration, single-line Microsoft Graph client and more. Learn more about these Teams features at our Microsoft 365 blog post.

With over 1.3 billion devices running Windows around the world, it continues to be a platform that you can build on to develop modern apps. To support our developers who build on Windows, we are excited to announce new features in our developer tool offerings that provide increased satisfaction and productivity. You can now use GUI app support on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) so that all the tools and workflows of Linux run on your developer machine. Windows allows you to work with seamless integrations with any workflow with GUI apps, Linux and GPU-accelerated ML training. Learn more about our Windows announcements at Build.

Collaborate globally and securely

As companies have been adapting to a remote work or hybrid work environment, collaboration and security remain top of mind. By building on the world’s best open source components and taking open source collaboration practices and applying them inside their organization, leading companies are now able to rapidly adapt to the flexibility required in today’s software development market. Our goal is to enable developers to code, collaborate and ship from anywhere — with even greater enterprise security built-in. With GitHub, developer teams can now bring the collaboration best practices used by over 65 million developers into every organization and enterprise.

We continue to innovate in the apps space, and one of the things we take pride in is our fully integrated platform. With Visual Studio, GitHub, and Azure you can code from anywhere with cloud-powered development environments, collaborate smoothly from anywhere with tools that help you work as a distributed team, and securely ship from anywhere, with fully integrated services and tools that enable them to maintain confidence in security despite being remote.

A crucial part of this collaboration needs to happen between development and security teams. Rather than addressing vulnerabilities or flaws after shipping any software, development teams need to anticipate and avoid them by integrating security into early stages of the development cycle and ensuring visibility for the security teams. Today, we are announcing a new way to foster shared responsibility and collaboration between development and SecOps teams with the integration of Azure Security Center and GitHub for container scanning — now in public preview. With this integration, you can easily give teams visibility into build and registry container scan results and provide traceability that helps SecOps teams alert you to issues faster. Check out how to kickstart collaborative DevSecOps practices with GitHub and Azure.

Scale your innovation

Azure provides a broad range of services that enable developers to build, deploy and scale their apps even faster. Our end-to-end platform helps developers focus on apps, not infrastructure. Our latest Azure innovations enable developers to modernize existing apps as well as build cloud-native applications.

Modernizing applications is a common trigger for public cloud adoption, and Azure covers broad patterns for application modernization — using VMs, containers and managed databases, or fully managed Platform as a Service (PaaS) services. With some of our recent investments, we are making it easier to modernize enterprise Java applications in Azure. The Microsoft Build of OpenJDK is free and open source and today, it is generally available with commercial support on Azure and Azure Stack. Red Hat JBoss EAP is now available on Azure Virtual Machines, allowing developers to scale apps with VM Scale Sets, and IBM WebSphere is also available on Azure Virtual Machines now with automated solution templates to simplify its deployment. To learn more about our latest innovation for Java on Azure, read this blog post.

Increasingly, we are also seeing customers innovate at a faster pace by using cloud-native technologies. Today, we are excited to announce the preview capabilities of Azure application services to run on Kubernetes and anywhere with Azure Arc. You can now run your favorite Azure application services – which include Azure App Service, Azure Functions, Azure Logic Apps, Azure API Management, Azure Event Grid – anywhere, including on-premises, on the edge, and on other clouds such as AWS or Google. Any Kubernetes cluster connected through Azure Arc is now a supported deployment target for Azure’s application services. For customers who are looking for a managed Kubernetes control plane, today we are also excited to announce the general availability of AKS on Azure Stack HCI. To learn more about cloud-native applications that run anywhere, read this blog post.

To make it incredibly easy for developers to build and modernize high-performance apps at any scale, today we announced new innovations to Azure Cosmos DB including the general availability of Cosmos DB Serverless. Azure also makes it easy for you to add artificial intelligence (AI) to applications with Azure Cognitive Services. Today, we are also excited to announce several new capabilities including new category of services called Azure Applied AI services. These services combine Azure Cognitive Services with task-specific AI and business logic, so developers can accelerate building AI solutions for common scenarios, such as document processing, customer service and extracting insights from content. Learn more about our latest innovation on cloud-native applications by harnessing the power of Data & AI in this blog post.

Professional developers can collaborate with other teams to expand the reach of their work. You can use multiple Azure services to create cloud-native applications and building blocks that empower even more developers in their organization. Traditional code-first development struggles to scale to support growing demand, which is why many pro developers are looking for ways to blend code-first tools with low-code tools, like Power Apps, to accelerate their workflow and delivery of business apps as well as help them focus on initiatives that have most impact with code-first approaches.

We are also making it possible for users to build apps using natural language without needing to know how to write computer code or formulas, with Power Fx. Powered by GPT-3 AI, the world’s largest natural language model, this update in Power Fx brings an intuitive AI-assisted maker experience so developers and other users can accelerate app development. Today we are also bringing Power Fx to model app builders with support for Model Driven Commanding and Dataverse Calculated Columns. Learn more about this update.

Today, we are announcing new extensions to further unlock the power of the Visual Studio family and the Power Platform together. The Visual Studio extension for Power Platform allows developers to publish APIs in Azure API Management while deploying a Power Platform connector, removing barriers and friction. And the VS Code extension for Power Platform enables native extensibility for Power Platform CLI publication directly from VS Code, as well as the capability to configure portals using VS Code and CLI — including IntelliSense support for code completion, assistance and hinting while customizing portals. Learn more about these new extensions.

Build applications with best-in-class tools and the Microsoft Cloud

Modern developers need modern solutions to meet the requirements of this rapidly changing landscape. It remains our mission to empower every developer on their terms – using the tools, languages and platform of their choice. Microsoft provides best-in-class tools and a cloud platform with a unique set of capabilities that enable developers to build the next generation of applications.

Microsoft Build is about celebrating the role of the developer community in shaping what comes next. Please join us at the Microsoft Build 2021 digital event and watch the Increase Developer Velocity with the Microsoft end-to-end developer platform session to learn more about these announcements, and more. I can’t wait to see what you create.

Tags: Build 2021, developers, GitHub, Visual Studio