What's New in Azure Data Development

Data developers using Microsoft's Azure cloud have several new offerings to work with as database services for MySQL and PostgreSQL, along with Azure Databricks, are now generally available.

After a nearly 11-month preview, the community versions of the popular MySQL and PostgreSQL databases are now available as managed services, with MariaDB on tap to soon join the managed service DB crowd, which also includes SQL Database, SQL Data Warehouse and Cosmos DB.

In a video, Sunil Kamath of the Azure database engineering team emphasized the open source utility of the new offerings, officially called Azure Database for PostgreSQL and Azure Database for MySQL.

"The goal with Azure has always been to support the need of the developers," Kamath said. "It's an open platform and we support any app, platform or language. We're seeing more and more open source applications leveraging Azure now. Bringing the open source community database engines of PostgreSQL and MySQL to Azure allows us to now continue to support your own application development needs but now as a secure and a fully managed service in the cloud."

The managed DB services will meet the upcoming (May 25) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and are available in 22 worldwide Azure regions, with plans to roll them out to all of the 40-plus regions.

In a post last week, Tobias Ternstrom, principal group program manager, Azure Data, said Microsoft is working with the community of developers as it tweaks the open source offerings to become managed Azure services.

"To further this goal, we joined the MariaDB Foundation in November 2017 because of our belief that the foundation is important to ensuring that MariaDB remains open and is an inspiration to other projects," Ternstrom said. "MariaDB is the next database service that our team is working on launching on Azure, so watch for it in coming few months, or submit a nomination to participate in the limited preview of the service."

In other Azure data news, Microsoft's Rohan Kumar and Ali Ghodsi, CEO of Databricks, announced the general availability of Azure Databricks, a collaborative Apache Spark-based analytics platform optimized for Azure.

Azure Databricks
[Click on image for larger view.] Azure Databricks (source: Microsoft).

"Over the past five years, Apache Spark has emerged as the open source standard for advanced analytics, machine learning, and AI on Big Data," they said. "With a massive community of over 1,000 contributors and rapid adoption by enterprises, we see Spark’s popularity continue to rise.

"Azure Databricks is designed in collaboration with Databricks whose founders started the Spark research project at UC Berkeley, which later became Apache Spark. Our goal with Azure Databricks is to help customers accelerate innovation and simplify the process of building Big Data and AI solutions by combining the best of Databricks and Azure."

To meet that goal, they said they followed three design principles:

  • Enhance user productivity in developing Big Data applications and analytics pipelines
  • Enable customers to work on Big Data with a fully managed, cloud-native service that scales automatically
  • Provide enterprise security and compliance

The new offering has already been put to use by developers, as one commenter to the post said: "Just deployed my first automated build of a Tomcat application running through Visual Studio Team Services build process delivered to Azure App Service. Apache Spark truly has emerged as the open source standard for advanced analytics, machine learning and AI on Big Data."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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