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Microsoft Build 2020: All major announcements for developers

Microsoft Build 2020 was an online event this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The company hinted at its 2020 roadmap by revealing its plans for various domains. Microsoft is preparing some dedicated services for the health-care sector and is working on improving security and reliability across various products. We have already looked at the general announcements made at Build 2020 in a previous story here at TechGenix. Now let’s focus on the most interesting announcements made at Microsoft Build 2020 specific to developers.

Project Reunion

Project Reunion is Microsoft’s vision of unifying the Windows developer platform. Project Reunion is primarily meant to build powerful applications that work across various Windows platforms. It is meant to streamline the existing Windows development environments by making them more agile, transparent, and modern.

According to Microsoft, Project Reunion will serve as a means for developers to reduce the fragmentation between various Windows platforms, products, and APIs. It also provides backward-compatibility for existing applications and service code to modernize and provide the latest innovations to clients. The project will Microsoft achieve its goal of unifying Win32 and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) APIs. Project Reunion is going to achieve this feat by the means of tools like NuGet and will decouple them from the operating systems, giving developers greater flexibility in developing apps and services.

Project Bonsai

Microsoft also launched the public preview of its latest Project Bonsai, which is meant for industrial control systems. Project Bonsai is Microsoft’s version of “machine teaching service” aimed at helping developers create, streamline, and optimize intelligence and abilities for industrial control systems.

Notably, Project Bonsai also marks the beginning of Microsoft’s vision to empower users to build, customize, manage, and operate their autonomous systems. This project will also help the domain experts to fine-tune and design their own custom-made dynamic physical systems without the need for powering it with artificial intelligence.

For the uninitiated, machine teaching is the means of acquiring knowledge from domain and subject matter experts rather than just relying on data for building new products. Using machine teaching, users such as engineers, developers, teachers, or even a supply chain expert for any particular domain or field can build an independent dynamic system tailor-made for them.

GitHub

GitHub, which Microsoft owns, is the world’s leading software development platform, and it also has its share of news at Build 2020. The core announcements about GitHub were Code Scanning and Secret Scanning.

Both these new features will be free to use for all the public repositories on GitHub and will be available in beta version as a part of GitHub Advanced Security. According to GitHub, both features are meant to increase the security and reliability of the code.

Code Scanning is meant to search any forms of potential security vulnerabilities in code repositories using GitHub’s own static analysis engine, CodeQL. Secret Scanning, on the other hand, which has been available since 2018 for all the public repos, is now available for private repositories and will prevent unauthorized access to cloud resources or services.

Visual Studio

Visual Studio, Microsoft’s own code editor, also had a couple of interesting announcements for developers at Build 2020. As discussed in our previous post, Visual Studio Code now supports Live Share, which allows developers to collectively collaborate by coding and debugging in together. What’s interesting about this announcement is that every developer can retain their coding environment setup. This means that every developer will never have to give up on their personal preferences to code together with colleagues.

Also, Visual Studio Codespaces, which was previously known as Visual Studio Online, now comes with a fully configured cloud-hosted development environment. According to Microsoft, these environments are a breeze to set up and can be created in minutes. Microsoft also announced reduced pricing on all the instance types on Visual Studio Codespaces.

ASP .NET Blazor

ASP .NET Blazor is released and is available for the developers to try out. While the server-version of the same has been available since the release of .NET Core 3.1, the new release allows .NET running in the client’s browsers using WebAssembly. It allows developers to build interactive web UIs with C# instead of JavaScript.

This newly added capability will allow developers to build applications that run faster while consuming less memory than JavaScript. Moreover, developers can reuse the code, code modules, and libraries from the .NET ecosystem.

Microsoft had various other announcements consisting of several tech and developer reveals at Build 2020. We now know that C#9 is on its way and both C#9 and the .NET 5 will come with source generator, allowing source code to be created dynamically. Microsoft has always been a big player for developers and an even bigger player in the world of IT. With the plethora of announcements made at Build 2020 for developers and the IT community, it is evident that Microsoft is planning to kick it up a notch.

Images: Microsoft

Sukesh Mudrakola

Sukesh is a computer science graduate by profession and an IT enterprise and tech enthusiast by passion. He holds an expertise in mobile and wearable technologies and is an avid Android fan.

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