Stuff I like from this year’s Build conference
.NET Core 3 Preview 4 can be downloaded right now. This new preview brings the Chart control to .NET Core & some WPF improvements. What I like most is the versioning change and the Tiered Compilation. I’m still reading up on this second thing, but it sounds awesome a major reason to upgrade to the latest & greatest! Some more information on TC can be found on a Microsoft blog post dedicated to it: https://devblogs.microsoft.com/dotnet/tiered-compilation-preview-in-net-core-2-1/ The Docker improvements are nice also, but I’m not using it a lot these days so don’t have much of an opinion on these things.
Something which struck me as odd is the announcement of .NET 5, which is .NET Core vNext. The explanation of this version number clears things up a bit though.
We’re skipping the version 4 because it would confuse users that are familiar with the .NET Framework, which has been using the 4.x series for a long time. Additionally, we wanted to clearly communicate that .NET 5 is the future for the .NET platform. From what I gather from this we can all (.NET Framework and .NET Core) to .NET 5 without much hassle. I don’t know if this is true, but it would make sense from my perspective.
Another announcement was the integration of GitHub and Azure DevOps, which is great! Where Azure DevOps shines at being a great enterprise/company working environment, GitHub shines in collaboration with external people. With this integration, we’ll be able to leverage the power of both platforms where needed more easily. Also, signing in with your GitHub account on Azure DevOps or the Azure Portal is big! You can now add your GitHub identity to the Azure Active Directory and be done with it. Awesome!
The same post mentions being able to do deployment pipelines via YAML now. It’s called Unified Pipelines, which is a great improvement! By chance we were also looking to Azure Artifacts at the project I’m working on now and with the announcement of yesterday this seems appears like a no-brainer now as the service is now included in the Basic license!
Then there’s the Kubernetes news, which. is. the. best! I’ve never felt much for the container ecosystem. I do understand what it does and how it’s an improvement to IaaS, but I live mostly in a PaaS, FaaS and SaaS environment, so moving back to ‘the virtual metal’ feels like a step back. But, the serverless Kubernetes and Kubernetes-based Event-driven Autoscaling (KEDA) is amazing! While it might not be fully serverless, it’s still something which can bring a lot of value to our customers and if we’re honest, that’s what matters the most. I do wonder if this will also become available on the OpenShift platform as KEDA is a partnering between Microsoft & Red Hat. KEDA will also be available on the OpenShift platform! It’s also open source and can be found on GitHub: https://github.com/kedacore/keda
Are you using Windows Subsystem for Linux? Well, version 2 is announced also, which is even better! It’s faster, has more system calls available and Docker images run right away! Something which goes hand in hand with the WSL is the command-line terminal and it has had some major improvement! Scott Hanselman has written a nice post on it and how you can tune the terminal. While I was just getting used to ConEmu, I think I’ll just use the new Terminal experience right from the start.
There were also a lot of announcements on machine learning, blockchain, artificial intelligence, mixed reality, etc. While all of this sounds great, it’s not stuff I work with on a daily basis. If you’re interested in this stuff, I’d advise you to check out all of the news posts on these other subjects. I’ll be sure to check out KEDA once I get around to it, it’s just too awesome not to play with it.
While scrolling through my Twitter feed today I saw a lot of other stuff which peeked my interest.
Apparently dependency injection in Azure Functions is a thing now, for quite some while. I probably missed this announcement in March, as the documentation dates from a couple of months ago. Still, very useful!
The Durable Functions also have gotten quite a bit of love for stateful actor-like capabilities. While I haven’t worked with the Actor model (yet), it is something I would love to dig into. With this announcement working with the Actor model will be even more awesome! And of course, the API Management integration of Azure Functions is great! There already was some basic Proxy functionality in Azure Functions, but with the full integration of APIM this will work even better!
For App Services we now have a Free Linux tier. Even though I don’t do a lot of development which will be published to a Linux App Service, I do recognize this is a great improvement for a lot of projects. Connecting to a vNet is now also supported for Linux App Services, which is great if you’re working in a hybrid scenario, or have some ‘secured’ resources somewhere. From the UX improvements it also looks like Docker integration can be found everywhere nowadays. So if you haven’t looked into containers & Docker yet, now is a time to do so. It’ll become very important for us developers to at least know the basics off of it.
Let’s not forget one major improvement in the security space. We now have support for passwords with a length of 256 characters! Finally!
It appears the full Entity Framework will become available to .NET Core 3.0! This is major, because the full Entity Framework has a lot more capabilities compared to the Entity Framework Core version. People still stuck on the .NET Framework because of EF should now be able to upgrade. Still, the packages are in preview, so don’t migrate just yet.
Something I like very much is the enhanced syntax highlighting for ARM templates in VS Code. Also, the enhanced schema ‘intellisense’ is very useful when working with these large JSON files.
Have you also noticed the improved Azure Portal? Lots of small improvements which makes the navigation in the portal a lot more slick. Especially the improved resource graphs are useful. Now I don’t have to create my own dashboards in PowerBI or something like it anymore.
With the announced GitHub integration, we also get Azure Boards integration to GitHub. This will make managing your code & project a lot easier when working with both systems on a single project.
And last, but certainly not least, the React Native for Windows repository. Not sure if this was announced at //build/, but I saw it appear in my timeline and it’s awesome enough to mention over here. Now you can create a React Native application and deploy it as a Windows 10 application, which makes it supported for devices like PC’s, tablets, Xbox, Hololens, etc. Great stuff indeed!