An ad for Microsoft Build, featuring an image of Bit the Raccoon.

This year’s digital edition of Microsoft Build has now wrapped up, but don’t worry if you missed it! The high-quality sessions and keynotes from across the two days are available to watch on-demand from the following locations:

Day one brought us many surprises, so just in case you missed it, let’s walk through some of the announcements.


Introducing Azure Synapse Link

A capability that removes the barriers between Azure operational database services and Azure Synapse Analytics, Azure Synapse Link enables customers to get insights from their real-time transactional data stored in their operational databases with a single click, without managing data movement or placing a burden on their operational systems.

With the release of Azure Synapse Analytics last November, the barriers between enterprise data warehousing and big data analytics were removed. That said, there was another barrier that separates operational data from analytical systems. There has never been a simple, low cost, cloud-native Hybrid Transactional/Analytical Processing (“HTAP”) implementation that enables immediate, in-the-moment insights on a business, until today.

Introducing the public preview of Azure Synapse Link, a cloud-native implementation of HTAP which enables customers to get insights from their real-time transactional data stored in their operational databases with a single click, without managing data movement or placing a burden on their operational systems. Azure Synapse Link is now available in Azure Cosmos DB and will be available in our other operational database services such as Azure SQL, Azure Database for PostgreSQL, Azure Database for MySQL and others in the future.

Find more information on the official blog


Code from anywhere with Visual Studio Codespaces

Whether you’re working on a long-term project, a  short-lived feature branch, or want to quickly review a pull request, Visual Studio Codespaces can help you be more productive by providing a fully configured development environment in minutes.

With Visual Studio Codespaces now available in public preview, developers can set up fully configured cloud-hosted development environments in just a couple of clicks. Codespaces is also coming to GitHub in private preview, so devs can easily code from any repo.

We’re also releasing:


Collaborate from anywhere

Developers need the ability to accommodate flexible work schedules and collaborate on their projects, all while keeping their development environment secure. With Visual Studio Live Share and GitHub, developers can collaborate no matter where they are.

With Visual Studio Live Share, developers can create shared coding sessions and co-edit, co-debug applications with their peers securely. Expanded capabilities for Visual Studio Live Share were announced during Build, which include text and voice chat support.

With over 50 million developers, GitHub is the place where developers collaborate. We announced GitHub Discussions, which enables developers to collaborate in new ways.


Ship from anywhere

With more than 30 GitHub Actions for Azure helping our customers create workflows to build, test, package, release and deploy to multiple Azure services. GitHub Actions for Azure are now integrated into Visual Studio Code, Azure CLI and the Azure Portal, and customers can download the new Visual Studio Code extension or install the Azure Command-Line Interface (CLI) extension.

Find more information on the official blog


Responsible Machine Learning

As AI reaches critical momentum across industries and applications, it becomes essential to ensure the safe and responsible use of AI. AI deployments are increasingly impacted by the lack of customer trust in the transparency, accountability, and fairness of these solutions.

In collaboration with the Aether Committee and its working groups, we are bringing the latest research in responsible AI to Azure. New responsible ML capabilities in Azure Machine Learning and our open source toolkits, will empower data scientists and developers to understand machine learning models, protect people and their data, and control the end-to-end machine learning process.

Azure Machine Learning helps you to not only understand model behaviour but assess and mitigate unfairness too, with the following capabilities:

  • Model interpretability capabilities in Azure Machine Learning, powered by the InterpretML toolkit, enable devs and data scientists to understand model behaviour and provide model explanations.
  • Using Fairlearn, developers and data scientists can leverage specialised algorithms to ensure fairer outcomes for everyone.

Current practices to protect data, such as redacting or masking, are limiting to model development. To address this issue, differential privacy and confidential machine learning techniques can be used to help organisations build solutions while maintaining data privacy and confidentiality. Using the new WhiteNoise differential privacy toolkit with Azure Machine Learning, data science teams can build machine learning solutions that preserve privacy and help prevent re-identification of an individual’s data.

To build responsibly, the ML development process should be repeatable, reliable and stakeholders held accountable. Azure Machine Learning enables decision makers, auditors and everyone in the ML life-cycle to support a responsible process.

Find more information on the official blog


Remote working with Power Platform and Teams

The COVID-19 pandemic upended the operations of companies around the world, forcing many to shift to remote work, often for the first time. Individuals had to quickly adapt to new ways of working, and business leaders have worked to prioritise the well-being of their employees. With Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Power Platform, organisations can quickly adapt business processes and enable workers to collaborate. Today we’re announcing exciting new capabilities that enable businesses and workers to be productive in a remote work world.

We are announcing several new ways to integrate Power Platform with Teams that expand the potential to solve business challenges:

  • Power Apps: Build model-driven apps for Microsoft Teams using Power Apps, and bring in pre-existing model-driven apps
  • Power Automate: New Power Automate triggers and actions built specifically for Teams to unlock custom message extensions and allow for automated mentioning and customised bot experiences (coming in July)
  • Power Virtual Agents:
    • New Power Virtual Agents Teams app, coming to the Teams AppStore in July
    • One-click Power Virtual Agents bot install in Teams (coming soon)
    • FAQ bot template available on GitHub (coming soon)
    • Single sign-on for Power Virtual Agents bots (coming in July)
  • Power BI:
    • Simplified “Share to Teams” feature allows you to quickly select the team and channel to share with directly from Power BI
    • Rich thumbnail previews for Power BI charts when pasted into Teams

Find more information on the official blog


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