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Azure Service Fabric Unveiled

Cloud service for orchestrating microservices from within Visual Studio will have a preview at next week's Microsoft Build conference.

Microsoft unveiled its Azure Service Fabric, a preview of which is expected to be available at the upcoming Microsoft Build developer conference next week. The first release will support Windows Server environments, with Linux environment support in the works.

Microsoft describes its Azure Service Fabric as having "an architectural approach where complex applications are composed of small, independently versioned services." It lets developers orchestrate and automate these "microservices" using tools such as Visual Studio or a command line interface.

Microsoft has been using its Azure Service Fabric for "more than five years" to run its various services. It's been used for services such as "Skype for Business, Intune, Event Hubs, DocumentDB, Azure SQL Database" and the Cortana personal assistant coming to Windows 10, according to Microsoft's announcement.

The Azure Service Fabric will be offered on top of the Azure App Service that Microsoft rolled out last month. The distinction between the two services wasn't clarified in Microsoft's announcement. Microsoft has described the Azure App Service as a trio of Azure services -- namely Web Sites, Mobile Services and BizTalk Services. The Azure Service Fabric, in contrast, seems to be something more basic.

Coincidentally, Microsoft announced earlier this month that it will deprecate its Windows Server AppFabric 1.1 solutions. Developers typically use AppFabric to more easily host apps using Windows Server Internet Information Services.

Other Azure dev announcements include the general availability of the Azure Media Player, which developers can use to play streaming multimedia content in browser-based apps. Microsoft's Azure Media Services solution is used to host the streaming multimedia.

Also announced earlier this month was the general availability of Azure DocumentDB. Azure DocumentDB is Microsoft's NoSQL database-as-a-service offering. It stores data in the JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format, but it lets users instigate their queries using SQL commands.

Microsoft announced other various Azure cloud computing improvements this month, with some services hitting "general availability" status, including a storage service. More information can be found on Redmondmag.com here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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