GitHub Copilot for Azure Gets Preview Glitches

This reporter, recently accepted to preview GitHub Copilot for Azure, has thus far found the tool to be, well, glitchy.

In that it doesn't answer any questions -- it just keeps repeating:

I'm not sure if I know how to help with what you are asking for. Can you provide more information, or be more explicit in describing what you want me to do? You may also want to create a new chat if you are changing to a new topic of conversation. If you feel like I'm not being helpful, please use the thumbs down or /reportIssue command to open an issue about what you feel is going wrong.

Other than that, it's hopeful. Or possibly promising. Or maybe dead in the water.

When the preview was announced last month, Microsoft said: "GitHub Copilot for Azure is like having a personal guide to the Azure cloud. It's here to answer your questions about Azure services, the resources you have deployed, and help you with your troubleshooting. Wondering 'which Azure database is commonly used with Django?' or 'why is my container app returning 404 errors?' Look no further -- GitHub Copilot for Azure can help!"

GitHub Copilot Chat
[Click on image for larger view.]GitHub Copilot Chat (source: Microsoft).

Applying for the preview involved filling out a survey about intentions, use cases and so on.

When finally accepted and after everything was set up (installing latest VS Code Insiders Build and so on) while not answering any questions, the tool did manage to suggest questions to ask it, including:

  • You can ask me questions about Azure. I can provide information about Azure, coding for Azure, or your Azure resources.
  • You can ask me to query your Azure app's logs to look for information. Make sure to let me know the details of your app, and what information you are looking for. Supports Azure Container Apps and Azure Kubernetes Services.
  • You can ask me to deploy your code to Azure.
  • You can ask me to setup a deployment pipeline for your project.
  • You can ask me to take down your application from Azure.
  • You can ask me to troubleshoot problems with your app running in Azure. Make sure to let me know the details of your app, and what you want to troubleshoot. Supports Windows Web Apps and Azure Kubernetes Services.
  • You can also go to the Azure sash, right click on any resource and choose Ask @azure to let me know exactly what resource you want to talk about.

That was all part of the tool's promise during last month's Build conference when Microsoft, the owner of GitHub, said developers would be able to use the tool to:

  • In-Chat Azure Expertise: Devs can type "@azure" in Copilot Chat to get real-time insights and answers without leaving their code.
  • Personal Resource Management: Devs can list their storage accounts or find the URL for their Azure container app.
  • Deployment Guidance: Devs can get help in understanding how to deploy an application on Azure.
  • Troubleshooting: Devs can get help in navigating Log Analytics to diagnose problems.

At one point, kind of like a glitch among the glitches, the tool did answer one of the suggested questions that inquired if static web apps support static IP addresses.

Question Answered!
[Click on image for larger view.] Question Answered!

This behavior couldn't be duplicated however, though it did serve to indicate the observed systematic errors weren't caused by a setup misstep or a problem between the keyboard and chair.

Previews are designed to provide developer feedback, so that's all this reporter was able to do so far, using the /reportIssue functionality. Clicking on a response's thumbs-down icon will enact the same reporting functionality.

Issue Reporter
[Click on image for larger view.] Issue Reporter

An internet search failed to find any other reports of this behavior, but it's still early in the preview program. So stay tuned.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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