“Microsoft” and various pictures appear, including perhaps a sweaty CEO screaming the platform “Developers! Developers! Developers! But what does today’s Microsoft look like, and what does it mean for developers?
In February 2014, Microsoft announced a new CEO, Satya Nadella. Under his leadership, Microsoft has made many impossible ideas. In 2018, on a build keynote, Nadella homered the point: “We are focusing on two large-scale platform opportunities: one, Microsoft Azure, the other Microsoft 365”.
An image of Satya Nadella “We
Microsoft is building platforms for developers to build, and they are very ready for how developers use them. You do not need to use Microsoft platforms or editors specifically to use these platforms (unless you want to). Samples have been published in many languages, not just Microsoft. It is breaking Microsoft religious encroachments and being more inclusive to developers than they have ever been before.
Do you know how Microsoft Graph can give businesses insight into their 365 data?
A good example of how Microsoft is opening up is their approach to accessing Microsoft 365. It covers Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility and Security. Microsoft 365 is all related services that meet Microsoft’s offering on the modern workplace. It generates a large amount of information about an organization: users, their work habits, the files they create, the tools they use, relationships between departments, meetings, emails. It is a surprisingly rich repository of valuable data.
If you were not watching Microsoft until recently, you can imagine them keeping this information to themselves and mining it for commercial gain, but vice versa. Microsoft is democratizing this data and giving it back to the organization as a Microsoft graph. This API gateway gives developers access to all data through a common authentication process and published schema.
If you are a developer in a company that uses some Microsoft 365 services, then you need to look at the Microsoft graph. Start knowing how programmatic access to your organization’s data can enable new types of applications and user experiences. You can download code samples in more than 10 languages including Android, Angular, iOS, Node.js, Python and Ruby.
What do you need from a cloud platform?
Another big platform focused on Microsoft is Microsoft Azure. Without doubt, cloud computing has been a game changer for developers, but it is not completely plain sailing. Azure is Microsoft’s cloud, but others are. There is a small thing called AWS, so are Google Cloud, IBM, Oracle and many other small cloud providers.
Developers today have a choice of cloud platforms to choose from, each with a specific technical advantages and disadvantages. The choice of cloud provider is different for everyone and depends on the needs of the project or customer. I am not going to assume that Azure is the right choice for everyone, every time. But equally, AWS is probably not the right choice for everyone, every time.
Microsoft Azure has some distinctive features that attract attention.
It has more security certificates than any other cloud provider. It has a presence in 54 regions worldwide, exceeding that of AWS and Google, and in use by over 95% of Fortune 500 companies. If data residency and specific security requirements are an important factor, then these are the types of non-functional requirements that should be included in any choice of provider.
Of course, Microsoft Azure lets you run VMs, but the platforms and services available to developers are more interesting. There are too many to mention here, but platform-a-service offers such as web apps, as well as true serverless options.
Serverless computing is the intangible part of servers, infrastructure and operating systems.
Serverless apps do not require any provisioning or management of the server, meaning there is no time to worry about infrastructure concerns. This is a paradigm shift in application architecture.
Microsoft Azure has a set of different services, enabling developers to create completely serverless solutions, including compute, storage, messaging, and orchestration. Whether it is an API, a mobile back-end, or an IoT back-end processing solution, serverless computing can bring real benefits to busy teams, focusing on business logic and avoiding administrative tasks.