Microsoft releases Azure Databricks, new AI, IoT and machine learning tools

Elizabeth Robinson
By Elizabeth Robinson on 16 November 2017
Microsoft releases Azure Databricks, new AI, IoT and machine learning tools

Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s executive vice president, has announced new Microsoft data platform technologies and cross-platform developer tools at Connect 2017();, the annual event for professional developers.

At the event, Guthrie outlined the company’s vision and shared what’s next for developers across a broad range of Microsoft and open source technologies.

He also touched on key application scenarios and ways developers can use built-in artificial intelligence (AI) to support continuous innovation and continuous deployment of intelligent applications.

“With today’s intelligent cloud, emerging technologies like AI have the potential to change every facet of how we interact with the world,” said Guthrie. “Developers are in the forefront of shaping that potential. Today at Connect(); we’re announcing new tools and services that help developers build applications and services for the AI-driven future, using the platforms, languages and collaboration tools they already know and love.”

New technologies being released include the preview of Azure Databricks, designed in collaboration with the founders of Apache Spark. This analytics platform delivers one-click setup, streamlined workflows and an interactive workspace. It enables organisations to provide self-service analytics and machine learning over all data with enterprise-grade performance.

A preview of Visual Studio Tools for AI was also unveiled. According to Guthrie, this is an extension of Visual Studio IDE, which will allow developers and data scientists to create AI models with maximum productivity. “Visual Studio Tools for AI delivers debugging and rich editing, with the support of most deep learning frameworks such as Cognitive Toolkit, TensorFlow or Caffe,” he said. “With this addition, developers and data scientists have a full development experience at their fingertips to create, train, manage and deploy models locally, and scale to Azure. Meanwhile, a preview of Azure IoT Edge, a service that deploys cloud intelligence to IoT devices via containers, revealed how Microsoft is introducing a new set of breakthrough cloud capabilities to run on IoT Edge, with Azure Machine Learning, Azure Functions and Azure Stream Analytics.

Guthrie also announced that Microsoft is joining the MariaDB community, an open collaboration organisation, as a platinum member. “As part of this membership, we’re committed to working closely with the foundation, actively contributing to MariaDB and the MariaDB community,” he explained.

Over the next three days, Microsoft will stream over 36 live, engineering-led training sessions designed to give developers hands-on experience with the technologies featured throughout the keynote presentations.

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