Build applications on the Microsoft Cloud


This is article 1 of 6 in Build applications on the Microsoft Cloud.

The Microsoft Cloud provides a unified collection of services for creating applications. Enterprise application development leaders can combine these services to deliver more value in less time with better security. This guide describes the big picture of Microsoft Cloud from an application development perspective, focusing on what leaders must do to be successful.

The Microsoft Cloud: An application development perspective

Most new applications use cloud services in some way. Many organizations rely on Microsoft Azure and the services it provides for professional software developers. This is fine, but you can create better applications by using other Azure services also.

To see this, start by recognizing that Azure is just one part of the Microsoft Cloud. From an application development point of view, the Microsoft Cloud also includes several other components, as Figure 1 shows. Your organization probably uses some or all of these today. You might not think of them as part of your application platform, but they are. Each one offers useful cloud services for your applications to use. So why not exploit them to make your new applications the best they can be?

Diagram that shows an application using Microsoft services such as Microsoft Azure and Power Platform.

Figure 1: The Microsoft Cloud provides a unified set of services that applications can use.

These services work together and are an integrated platform for application development.

  • Microsoft Azure has services aimed at professional software developers who create and maintain new applications.
  • Power Platform has services for low-code development. Citizen developers—people who aren't software professionals—can use the services to create applications and automate business processes.
  • GitHub and Azure DevOps have tools to create, test, deploy, and run applications.
  • Microsoft 365 has applications for the modern workplace, including Microsoft Teams, Exchange, and SharePoint.
  • Dynamics 365 has applications for business, including applications for sales support, financials, and customer service.
  • Azure Active Directory and Microsoft Sentinel are foundational services for securing applications and systems.

Building new solutions on this kind of broad, unified cloud platform is the next step in the evolution of application development. By providing an integrated set of widely used services, the Microsoft Cloud offers a foundation for doing this.

Using these unified services brings real benefits, including:

  • You can easily combine different technologies. For example:
    • Combine a low-code application with more complex software created by professional developers.
    • Build a low-code application that’s integrated with a collaboration platform.
  • You can integrate and share data more easily. For instance, you can have a new cloud-native application access data from line-of-business applications or modern work solutions.
  • There's less integration risk, because the Microsoft cloud services work well together.
  • There's better security, because using the same security services and tools across the entire environment is simpler for application developers. It also makes life easier for the people who monitor and manage applications in production.

How enterprise application development leaders succeed

To succeed in a modern enterprise, an application development leader needs to do several things. To help you understand how to succeed at them, the articles in this section walk you through a simple scenario of a typical enterprise application. Along the way, you’ll see examples of the value that each Microsoft Cloud component brings.

The following table describes each article and provides a link to it. The articles are meant to be read in order.

How enterprise application development leaders succeed Article that shows how
They create better applications in less time with pro-code development on Azure and low-code development on Power Platform. 2. Create and deploy more applications in less time
They get the most value from technical talent with fusion development and an integrated low-code and pro-code development process that includes GitHub and Azure DevOps. 3. Get the most value from technical talent
They integrate new applications with existing solutions by using Azure API Management, Microsoft Graph, and Dynamics 365. 4. Integrate new applications with existing solutions
They create and run secure applications by using Active Directory for identity and access management. They also use Azure Sentinel for security information and event management (SIEM), and for security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR). 5. Create and run secure applications

After you read these articles, you can learn more about building applications on the Microsoft Cloud by making use of our Microsoft Cloud resources collection. It provides design guides, solutions, learning resources, and product documentation to help get you started.

Next steps

See how successful enterprise application development leaders create better applications in less time with pro-code development on Azure and low-code development on Power Platform.