Microsoft Build 2022: Round-Up of Key Announcements

Our team here at Xgility was excited to virtually attend Microsoft Build this week to watch the keynote addresses, attend the sessions that showcased innovations in code and application development, and catch the latest announcements around Microsoft Power Platform, Azure, Azure SQL, AI, automation, new development tools, and so much more.

It is inspiring to learn how Microsoft continues its commitment to delivering new tools and features that our developers and teams can use to help drive transformation for our clients and their evolving needs – especially when it comes to automation, low code tools, and application and database development and modernization – while maximizing their Microsoft cloud investments.

So Many Announcements: Here’s What We are Excited To See Roll Out

During the event, Microsoft announced more than 50 new products, tools, and features – wow! We’ve rounded up a list of key announcements that are either available now or in preview.

Let’s dive in.

Power Apps Express Design:

Instantly turn images, documents, Figma design files, and PPTs into apps with leading cognitive AI capabilities using Express Design in Microsoft Power Apps.

Now available to all Power Apps makers, Express Design allows you to instantly generate low-code apps directly from design files and images.

Screenshot of Microsoft Power Apps Express Design.

In just a few clicks, users can upload a design from different inputs – including paper forms and PDFs, sketches on the whiteboard, and even professionally designed assets in Figma – and Power Apps converts it into a working web and mobile app with a UI and data schema within seconds.

Learn More:
Turn Images and Designs into Apps Using AI-Powered Express Design »

Power Pages:

The newest Microsoft Power Platform product to create modern, secure, responsive business websites.

As a new standalone product, Power Pages is ideal for building business-centric websites. It’s designed to empower anyone – regardless of their technical background – with a platform to create data-powered, modern, and secure websites for both desktop and mobile through a fluid, visual experience. Power Pages runs on Microsoft Azure and connects with Dataverse to provide critical security capabilities.

Screenshot of Microsoft Power Pages Opening Screen

As part of the preview, several features and capabilities are now available. The Design Studio makes it easy to design, style, configure, and publish modern business websites. With Microsoft Dataverse, you can securely collect and share business information with site visitors. And use Visual Studio Code in Power Pages to code advanced capabilities using JavaScript, code components, Liquid templates, and web APIs.

Learn More:
Announcing Microsoft Power Pages: Build Secure, Low-Code Websites »

Power Virtual Agents & Azure Bot Framework

Now a unified bot building studio.
Bot builders have used the existing integration between Power Virtual Agents and Bot Framework Composer to create advanced conversational experiences for over a year now—and it’s proven very popular. Now, Microsoft is bringing these complementary strengths together into one, single unified bot building studio.

Microsoft Unified Bot Canvas.

According to Microsoft, this new bot-building approach combines the advanced functionality of Bot Framework Composer with the ease-of-use and end-to-end bot building experience of Power Virtual Agents. Now, professional developers and subject matter experts can easily collaborate within the same studio to build powerful conversational bots and IVRs. And with this deep and continuing integration of Bot Framework Composer and Microsoft Cognitive Services — it’s also the single, unified conversational AI studio from Microsoft for subject matter experts and developers alike.

Power Virtual Agents will be incorporating additional Azure Bot Service Composer capabilities including a new authoring canvas, rich responses, event-driven and contextual triggers, and new telephony channels. These are all available in preview.

Learn More:
What’s New: The Evolution of Power Virtual Agents »

Autoscale with Hosted Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Bots

Faster and easier scaling with Microsoft Power Automate and VMs.

Gone are the days of strenuous approval cycles and costly deployment. With Power Automate’s hosted robotic process automation (RPA) bots, you can create a group of bots by setting up basic parameters and using them to get virtual machines (VMs) scaled automatically for your unattended RPA scenarios — with no Azure subscription required. By hosting VMs that are powered by Azure, organizations can use Power Automate’s built-in auto-scale to scale VM capacity supporting the execution of RPA flows up or down automatically based on need.

Unattended robotic process automation and virtual machines in Power Automate are now in preview.

In addition, a new integration with process advisor — the process and task mining capability in Power Automate — allows users to leverage process analytics from within their cloud flows, the digital process automation capability in Power Automate. This update is in preview.

Learn More:
Latest Innovations to Scale Automation with Microsoft Power Automate »

Datamarts in Power BI

Enable data self-sufficiency.

Datamart in Power BI is a new self-service capability that enables users to perform relational database analytics and uncover actionable insights from their data. This out-of-the-box feature empowers business analysts to build a data mart over any data warehouse or multiple data sources that can be centrally governed and managed. And it brings turnkey data warehousing to millions of Power BI users, alleviates demands on IT, and accelerates time to insights from months to minutes.

Learn More:
Announcing Public Preview of Datamart in Power BI »
Democratize Enterprise Analytics with Microsoft Power BI »

App Compliance Automation Tool for Microsoft 365

A new service in Azure Portal that helps simplify the compliance journey for any app that consumes Microsoft 365 customer data and is published via Partner Center.

Microsoft 365 App Compliance Program is designed to evaluate and showcase the trustworthiness of application-based industry standards — such as SOC 2, PCI DSS, and ISO 27001 for security, privacy, and data handling practices. Microsoft announced the preview of the App Compliance Automation Tool for Microsoft 365 for applications built on Azure to help them accelerate the compliance journey of their apps. With this tool, developers can automate a significant number of tasks to achieve the certification faster and easier. Also, the tool produces reports that can be easily shared by developers to help IT gain visibility of app security and compliance. It is in private preview.

Learn More:
App Compliance Automation Tool for Microsoft 365 »

Live Share for Microsoft Teams

Interactive app experiences in Teams meetings

Live Share is a capability for apps to go beyond passive screen sharing and enable participants to co-watch, co-edit, co-create, and more in Teams meetings.

Example of Live Share in Microsoft Teams.

Developers can use new preview extensions to the Teams SDK to easily extend existing Teams apps and create Live Share experiences in meetings. Live Share is backed by the power of Fluid Framework – which supports sophisticated synchronization of state, media – and control actions with only front-end development. This synchronization will run on Teams hosted and managed Microsoft Azure Fluid Relay service instance – at no cost to you.

Learn More about Live Share and other new development tools for Microsoft Teams:
Build Collaborative Apps with Microsoft Teams »

Microsoft Purview Ecosystem

Extending new APIs, Power Automate, and built-in integrations.

Microsoft announced they are expanding Microsoft Purview’s multicloud and extensibility capabilities to include native classification, labeling, and protection capabilities for Adobe Acrobat to help secure PDFs as well as new Microsoft Graph APIs for data lifecycle management.

Screenshot of Microsoft Purview.

Unifying these components empowers Microsoft Purview Information Protection and Adobe Document cloud customers to consistently classify and label PDF documents natively – and to properly address security and compliance. These updates are in preview.

Learn More:
Extending Microsoft Purview Ecosystem »

Azure Synapse Link for SQL

Enabling near real-time analytics over operational data in Azure SQL Database or SQL Server 2022.

Azure Synapse Link for SQL allows organizations to now take advantage of low- and no-code, near real-time data replication from your SQL-based operational stores into Azure Synapse Analytics. This makes it easier to run BI reporting on operational data in near real-time – and with minimal impact on your operational store.

Azure Synapse Link for SQL Model.

Now in public preview, Azure Synapse Link for SQL is an automated system for replicating data from your transactional databases (both SQL Server 2022 and Azure SQL Database) into a dedicated SQL pool in Azure Synapse Analytics. Setting up a link from your SQL data to Azure Synapse now takes just a few clicks and a matter of minutes rather than hours or days for traditional ETL processes.

Learn More:
Announcing the Public Preview of Azure Synapse Link for SQL »

Ledger in Azure SQL Database

A new technology that offers the power of Blockchain in Azure SQL Database.

The Ledger feature in Azure SQL Database enables tamper-evident capabilities through cryptographic verification for centralized data stores.

Azure SQL Database Ledger

Microsoft is making the data in SQL verifiable using the same cryptographic patterns seen in Blockchain technology – while keeping the flexibility and performance of a traditional database. It is centrally managed while you can cryptographically attest to other parties, such as auditors or other business parties, that your data can be trusted and hasn’t been tampered with. It is now generally available.

Learn More:
Ledger Now Generally Available in Azure SQL Database »

Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform

Accelerate innovation and achieve agility with a comprehensive data platform.

Microsoft unveiled its new Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform – and an integrated platform that brings together databases, analytics, and governance to add layers of intelligence to applications, gain predictive insights, and govern data anywhere.

The Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform enables organizations to quickly pivot and adapt to rapidly evolving landscapes, add layers of intelligence to their apps, unlock predictive insights, and govern their data anywhere. According to Microsoft, it addresses major customer pain points like managing fragmented data while also empowering organizations to capture and utilize data more efficiently to increase market share.

Learn More:
Introducing the Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform »

That’s a Wrap!

You can read all the announcements and features in the Microsoft Build 2022 Book of News »

Reach out to learn how our experts can help accelerate your application, database, or data modernization initiatives. As a Microsoft Gold Partner with vast experience under our belts, we are ready to help.
Contact Us Now »