Connect(); Special Issue 2018

Volume 33 Number 13

[Editor's Note]

December Is for Developers

By Michael Desmond; Special Issue 2018

Michael DesmondMicrosoft Connect(); has emerged as one of the most important and impactful developer-oriented events on the Microsoft calendar. Since 2014, Microsoft has used Connect(); to evangelize its growing cross-platform and open source software development efforts, release important products like Visual Studio for Mac, and articulate strategies in areas like artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things.

This year Connect(); kicked off on Dec. 4, and the conference hit on all these notes and more. On the open source front, Microsoft and Docker announced the Cloud Native Application Bundle (CNAB)—an open source, cloud-agnostic specification for packaging and running distributed applications. Microsoft also announced the open sourcing of Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Forms and the Windows UI XAML Library.

There was plenty of tool news on tap. Microsoft debuted Visual Studio 2019 Preview, and revealed new capabilities like Visual Studio Live Share for remote collaboration and Visual Studio IntelliCode, which expands language support to XAML and C++ and leverages AI for improved code insight. Also announced were the general availability of .NET Core 2.2, and the release of the public preview of .NET Core 3.0. Cross-platform development got a boost as well, with the Xamarin.Forms 4.0 Public Preview and the general availability of Xamarin.Forms 3.4.

Of course, AI and machine learning (ML) have been a huge area of focus at Microsoft. Connect(); this year provided a platform for some key announcements, including the general availability of Azure Machine Learning Service, which helps developers and data scientists quickly build, train and deploy ML models. Also released was the public preview of ML.NET, Microsoft’s open source, cross-platform ML framework that helps developers infuse AI into their .NET applications.

This special issue of MSDN Magazine is dedicated to helping developers take full advantage of the tools and technologies featured at the Connect(); conference. Articles like Scott Hunter’s “What’s Coming in .NET Core 3.0,” Julie Lerman’s “Collaborative Development with Visual Studio Live Share” and Mads Kristensen’s “What’s New in Visual Studio 2019” will help you get a jump on the improvements to these flagship tools and frameworks.

DevOps has been a core message at Connect(); over the years and is the focus of the article “Deploy Your Code the Right Way with Azure Pipelines,” written by Micheal Learned and Andy Lewis. And don’t miss the pair of features exploring ML. James McCaffrey offers an introduction to the ML.NET framework ("ML.NET: The Machine Learning Framework for .NET Developers"), while Krishna Anumalasetty explores the automated ML capabilities of Azure Machine Learning and how they make AI accessible to more organizations ("Accelerate AI Solutions with Automated Machine Learning").

There’s more still, including David Ortinau’s article, “Exploring the Xamarin.Forms Shell,” that shows exciting new capabilities coming in Xamarin.Forms 4.0, and Michael Crumb’s productivity-minded piece titled “7 Tips and Tricks for Azure App Service.” Finally, be sure to check out our bonus Web feature from Kevin Farlee, “Introducing Azure SQL Database Hyperscale,” which explores the re-architected storage engine in the SQL database and how it enables a highly scalable service tier for databases that adapt to workloads on-demand.

Connect(); is part of a larger conversation between Microsoft and its developers. It’s an opportunity for Microsoft to articulate its vision, and for developers to provide feedback that shapes the direction of that vision going forward. Learn more at

Michael Desmond is the Editor-in-Chief of MSDN Magazine.

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