The Microsoft Ignite 2019 in Orlando, Florida
This month the Microsoft Ignite took place in Orlando. During the biggest Microsoft conference, the software corporation from Redmond launched a firework of new services and improvements of existing products.
Already in the keynote presentation it became obvious that Microsoft had a lot to display. Satya Nadella guided the audience seamlessly from demo to demo, and even felt relaxed enough to stroll through the expo halls while continuing to give the presentation.
I tried to select what were, in my opinion, the most relevant announcements amongst all that were presented. However, if you want to know more, I suggest having a look at the Book of News, a summary of the announcements from the Microsoft Ignite 2019.
With the Cortex project Microsoft wants to classify, process and display the existing information in Office 365 with the help of AI. This way, users can view all the relevant information about a project at a glance. Moreover, 2020 will be the “Year of Yammer”. Yammer is going to receive a completely rehauled user interface and is going to be integrated better into Microsoft Teams and Outlook. Especially for the so-called outer loop (e.g. knowledge management and community building) Yammer thus remains the tool of choice.
The Fluid Framework was already announced at the Microsoft Build conference and it is currently available as a preview. My colleague, Edin Kapić, was able to gain some experience with it at a Dev’s Kitchen. The Fluid Framework tears apart the previously known boundaries of a document. Parts of a document can be edited at the same time in several programs (Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, etc.). To illustrate, if a number is changed in an Excel table, the pie chart in PowerPoint automatically adapts within a few tenths of a second. Additionally, the Fluid Framework has an open interface.
Microsoft Search, the search tool of Office 365 and SharePoint Online, is undergoing further improvements. Connectors can be used to relate peripheral systems such as file shares. The integration of Bing Enterprise is also being advanced – with a Bing search, results include content from the internet and the intranet.
Microsoft Teams can also boast some innovations. The highly requested private channels are now available. Teams is also going to receive a new view for files (with all the functions of SharePoint) and for tasks (merging Planner, To Do and Teams). The new Office App for Android an iOS is the central access point for the on-the-go information worker. It allows access to documents, the search tool and can e.g. convert photos of tables into an Excel file using Office Lens.
The Bot Framework Composer is a low-code tool that can be used to build a bot. In a graphical editor the process of the bot is described and the connection to backend services like language understanding, speech or QnAMaker is configured.
Microsoft Flow has grown into a powerful tool. It therefore deserves a new name. The tool is now being marketed by Microsoft as ‘Power Automate’. Within the Power Platform, Microsoft Power Virtual Agents is a graphical editor that can be used to create one’s own bot.
Azure Arc enables its users to use the Azure Admin Center to also manage infrastructure on-premises and from other cloud providers. System administrators can manage and monitor the IT infrastructure centrally and with modern methods. This is a useful step since hybrid and multi cloud models are standard nowadays.
Users who do not sit at their computer every day can now log in with their phone number and a one–time password sent per text message. They do not need to memorise a login and password.
A glimpse into the future
With its Project Silica, Microsoft has presented a solution that uses glass for data storage. It has the advantage of being very long-lasting. With Azure Quantum, Microsoft provides a framework that can already be used to experiment and gain experience with using a quantum computer, even though this technology is not yet available for the general consumer.
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.