Microsoft Build 2022 was held from 24-May to 26-May and many of us might already have attended this conference online. There were many important announcements made by Microsoft. This article focuses on some of the important bits, which a developer might be interested in.
WSL – Windows Subsystem for Linux
Well, when I was reading about WSL for the first time, I was trying to imagine how the boundaries between operating systems are getting blurred and how Microsoft Windows is now supporting development of cross platform apps by using something like WSL.
After making Linux distributions available for developers, guess what is the next step ? Now, Windows Subsystem for Android is also available.
WSA – Windows Subsystem for Android
Windows Subsystem for Android is available for public preview on Windows 11. As per documentation, it is currently available only in US. So, basically, we can install android applications on Windows 11.
To make your Android app available on Windows 11 devices, you must Submit your app to the Amazon Appstore. Once you have submitted your app on Amazon Appstore, we can use Windows 11 for developing and testing the android application.
Azure Container Apps
The general availability of Azure Container Apps was announced in Build 2022 keynote. Azure Container Apps is built on top of Kubernetes. This is a serverless offering. If you opt for this service, you do not need to have any prior knowledge about Kubernetes. As per documentation, It is powered by Kubernetes and open-source technologies like Dapr, KEDA, and envoy.
One thing to remember, this service, Azure Container Apps, abstracts the Kubernetes API. Meaning, if you use this service, you will not be able to use Kubernetes APIs and Control Plane. If you want to access APIs and Control Plane, you may better choose Azure Kubernetes Service.
Some of the links that will help you to get started on container apps are given below:
- A tutorial to get started on Azure Container Apps.
- Enable AuthN and AuthZ using Twitter in Azure Container Apps
- Enable AuthN and AuthZ using Google in Azure Container Apps
The .NET Multi-platform Application User Interface (aka .NET MAUI) was also announced to be generally available. The goal of .NET MAUI is to enable development of cross-platform apps in a single code-base.
The idea is you write code in single codebase and you can add platform specific code or resources to the project as you need. These apps can be created using C# and XAML. These apps can run on Windows, Android, iOS, iPadOS and macOS.
If you want, you can get started with this course from Microsoft Learn.
DevBox & Codespaces
Microsoft DevBox is an Azure Service, that was announced in Build 2022 keynote. This service provides a windows development machine, which will have pre-installed all the utilities required by your developers. This will certainly save some time for new-joinees, as instead of going through long internal-wiki-page of first day guide, they can just spawn the DevBox which already has everything installed.
Developer just needs to go to web page, start this devbox. In order to control costs associated, there will also be policies which can help you configure when the devboxes should be shutdown and when they should start again.
Also, these devboxes can be controlled by your IT team, like any other device in the organization. The DevBoxes can be created with different roles / access levels depending on developer’s role (senior vs junior or FTE vs Contract) and project needs.
This service may appear somewhat similar to GitHub codespaces. GitHub codespaces can spawn Linux based workloads for developers, if your git repository is on GitHub. But in a detailed session about these new services, it was mentioned that these two services are complementary. This image, given below, is taken from the session from Build, and it explains how these two services are complimentary to each other.
GitHub Copilot – Don’t Fly Solo !!!
This is an interesting tool that was launched in June 2021. It is currently in technical preview. It was announced in Build 2022 that this tool would be generally available in summer of 2022. This is an exciting news. This tool certainly going to reduce time and energy that a developer spends in looking for some basic code examples to understand the usage of any APIs.
As per announcement in Build, this tool is going to be free for students and verified open source contributors. On the other hand, as mentioned on the GitHub Copilot, there may be a commercial version. The details of pricing models are not available yet (at least I could not find any information about them).
Express Design in PowerApps
I kept this as last thing in this blog. But this thing was mind-blowing. I don’t have words to explain it. Better here it from Satya and See what it does in this short clip of keynote from Microsoft Build 2022:
You can upload PDF, hand drawn sketch on a white board, or professionally designed resources in Figma or PowerPoint slide or snapshot of legacy application if you have any. Advanced AI will scan this data and it will automatically generate working user experience and backend data schema in Microsoft Dataverse.
Of course, the data schema and user interface may need some fine tuning. For example, you may want to show a date picker instead of dropdown or vice-versa. Consider this AI generated user interface and data schema as starting point and build on top of it.
According to documentation, you can start with one or more screen. And you can add more screens later if you want. Scan again and add pages to the same project. If you want to try this, you can try Power Apps Developer Plan for free.
Microsoft Build Cloud Skills Challenge
With all major companies adopting Azure and all the applications moving to cloud-first and mobile first direction, it becomes immensely important to get ourself familiar with the latest trends/concepts. You can earn a free Microsoft Certification exam for learning from the resources available on Microsoft Learn. This challenge is available till 21st of June and if any of you are planning to go for a certification exam soon, you may find the resources and challenge itself very helpful.
I hope you find this information helpful. Do you have any thoughts about any build session ? Do you want to know me to write on any specific topic from Build 2022 ? Let me know your thoughts !