This time around in Azure news, we have Synonyms in Azure Search, Azure revenue soars, New Enhancements to the Azure AD Pass Through Authentication, Microsoft Cognitive Services and new Azure monitoring and diagnostics capabilities.
Azure Search releases support for synonyms (public preview)
Microsoft have announced public preview support for synonyms in Azure Search, one of our most requested features on UserVoice. This allows for Azure Search to not only return results which match the query terms that were typed into the search box, but also return results which match synonyms of the query terms. As a search-as-a-service solution, Azure Search is used in a wide variety of applications which span many languages, industries, and scenarios. Since terminology and definitions vary from case to case, Azure Search’s Synonyms API allows customers to define their own synonym mappings.
Microsoft’s commercial cloud run rate tops $15B as Azure revenue soars
Microsoft’s commercial cloud run rate has reached $15.2 billion – an annualised measure that includes Office 365 commercial, Azure, Dynamics 365, and other cloud initiatives from the company, this is up from the $14 billion rate last quarter. The company has promised to get to $20 billion in yearly cloud revenue by 2020
New Enhancements to the Azure AD Pass Through Authentication Preview
- They’ve simplified the end user sign-on experience by removing the need for users to enter their usernames when they access cloud apps with tenant-specific URLs (like outlook.office365.com/owa/contoso.com)
- improved user sign-on security with public key / private key encryption between Azure AD and on-premises agents. That’s in addition to the secure HTTPS they also use.
- They now support using any attribute, configured as Alternate ID in Azure AD Connect as the username
- Now you only need to open two ports OUTBOUND to deploy pass-through authentication—the standard ports 80 and 443
Microsoft Cognitive Services – General availability for Face API, Computer Vision API and Content Moderator
Microsoft Cognitive Services enables developers to create the next generation of applications that can see, hear, speak, understand, and interpret needs using natural methods of communication. Microsoft have announced the general availability of Face API, Computer Vision API and Content Moderator API.
- Face API detects human faces and compares similar ones, organises people into groups according to visual similarity, and identifies previously tagged people and their emotions in images.
- Computer Vision API gives you the tools to understand the contents of any image. It creates tags that identify objects, beings like celebrities, or actions in an image, and crafts coherent sentences to describe it. You can now detect landmarks and handwriting in images. Handwriting detection remains in preview.
- Content Moderator provides machine assisted moderation of text and images, augmented with human review tools. Video moderation is available in preview as part of Azure Media Services.
Discover and act on insights with new Azure monitoring and diagnostics capabilities
Microsoft have introduced new monitoring and diagnostics capabilities in Azure:
- Map out process and server dependencies with Service Map, a new technology in Azure Insight & Analytics, to make it easier to troubleshoot and plan ahead for future changes or migrations.
- Use DNS Analytics, a new solution in Azure Insight & Analytics, to help you visualise real-time security, performance and operations-related data for your DNS servers.
- Use the Smart Diagnostics functionality in Azure Application Insights to diagnose sudden changes in the performance or usage of your web application