All posts by Bitscape Team

Azure DevOps Server 2019: A revolution in self hosting.

An icing on the cake for customers who prefer to self host, Microsoft recently launched the first release candidate (RC) of Azure DevOps Server 2019. The DevOps Server 2019, being optimized for customers as mentioned above, mainly delivers the code base of Microsoft Azure DevOps.  Self hosting customers usually are the ones who require a guaranteed isolated instance of the DevOps as they need a run on-premises version or because the system requirement is in regions wherein a hosted version of DevOps is not available.

photo courtesy: azure.microsoft.com

The new Azure DevOps server includes the latest Azure DevOps user interface which is fast, clean and contains numerous advanced features, following the evolution of Team Foundation Server. In addition to the existing support for SQL server, Azure DevOps Server 2019 includes support for Azure SQL enabling organizations to use their own data center to self host Azure DevOps using an on- premises SQL server. This self hosting can also be done in the cloud which lets customers utilize the premium Azure SQL  capabilities and performance to the fullest. This release has raised the bars and Azure DevOps is now the provider of best in class hybrid-cloud development collaboration capabilities through which the customers can self host in the cloud, install on- premises or make use of the globally available Microsoft hosted service which also gives the benefits of automatic scaling and updates simultaneously.

The new release management interface which makes it easier to manage how the deployment is taking place is also a part of the Azure DevOps server 2019. The end to end traceability is an added feature which makes it quite an effortless task to monitor the details of the deployments.  Customers using TFS 2012 or a later version can directly upgrade to Azure DevOps Server 2019 without any hassle while those on TFS 2010 or older might need to go through some interim steps before they can actually uograde to the latest released version.

What’s new in Sharepoint Admin? – Bitscape Blog

Time to get updated Admin!! It is always ingenious to be updated of knowing what’s next. And when it comes to the role of an Admin, the pressure of being upgraded about the in-things moves up one scale ahead.

Sharepoint Admin is known for its frequent updates. Recent upgradation is loaded with lots of enhancements. Let us have a look at each one of them.

Upgrade #1

Active Sites Page :

Creation : Types of sites added

The active sites page will now be loaded with a list of the new types of sites to make it easier for the creation of those sites.

Details Pane: Properties of the Site

The details pane lists the properties of the site such as,

  • The Domain, the link, the description and the template of the site
  • Hub site association
  • The details of the primary admin (if applicable)
  • External sharing status

 

Sort and Filter:

The page is featured up to sort and filter the site lists that is similar to Sorting and Filtering other lists on Sharepoint.

Searching for a Site :

Using the keywords of search, a quick search for a site can be optimized by using the name, URL, primary admin or template.

Hub Site Association :

Sharepoint Admin center offers an option to modify the existing hub site associated with the site. It also allows to view and filter by the Hub site association. The hub site menu lets you register a site as a hub site, associate it with a hub site, change its hub site association, and unregister it as a hub site.

Switch between built-in views and customize views:

In the newer version of SAC, it would also be possible to view and switch between various built-in views: Office 365 group sites, Sites without a group, Largest sites, Least active sites, and Most popular shared sites. The customization of views is also available wherein views can be created and saved.

Site level sharing :

The latest version allows the admins to mend the site level sharing status based on the purpose.

CSV Exporting :

Exporting of the file is now enhanced to other formats too. Microsoft has amended the CSV format for exporting purpose. Files, data can now be exported to CSV format.

Lock up sites:

The today’s version of SAC would grant the admins to set up a lock for the sites to a read-only mode, Content amendment prevention, and fully inaccessible status.

It is even possible to click on multiple sites simultaneously and choose multiple email site admins

Delete Sites:

The Sharepoint Admins can now delete the sites that are no longer necessary from the Office 365 group. This means all the resources associated with the site will also be erased including the Mailbox, calendar. This can be undone in 93 days. Those deleted sites can be recovered in 93 days using the View and Restore deleted sites option. But the deleted groups must be restored in 30 days.

Amending Owners :

For a group connected site, adding or removing of owners is possible. The other sites facilitate to change the primary admin or add or remove admins.

The Site details :

When a site is clicked on, the details page gets opened which shows,

  • the number of pages visited in the last 1 month,
  • the number of files edited in the last 30 days, the used amount of storage,
  • the number of files and the date of last activity in the last 30 days,

Upgrade #2

 

Links on the Homepage :

The homepage, now, includes links the Homepage to the Microsoft 365 that facilitates the admins  to view the detailed reports of the information, the post updates.

The left pane of the Homepage is infused with direct links to the One Drive Admin center and the Migration tool.

The left pane also holds links to the Classic Sharepoint Admin center that aids the admins  who wish to switch to the Classic version.

The Homepage also shares its space for the Geo-Location selector for organizations that have set up Multi-Geo option.

Upgrade #3

Access control and Settings page :

The newer update is capable of signing out inactive sessions for the purpose of security.

The access to the SAC is restricted to particular IP address and Apps.

API Management Page:

The page allows the admins to view and approve pending API permissions on the web and similarly to accept or reject the requests incoming.

Thus,The Sharepoint Admin center has enhanced its quality to one level up and is still working on further upgrades like better design for Mobile, added batch operations, URL change, batch restore, permanent deletion of sites.

 

Resource: What’s new in the SharePoint admin center

Microsoft and Innovation – Trusted Cloud

Adhering to the legacy of creating a wow with every update, Microsoft’s October 2018 updates were no less. A breakthrough in creativity and user experience, Microsoft announced at the end of October the new features of Microsoft 365 which would not only enhance the overall look and feel of the created content but also tools and solutions that help users make smooth transition to cloud.

Microsoft and Innovation, just change title to Microsoft and Innovation – Trusted Cloud

Features that enhance the overall impact of the document or the presentation have been set out already and a wave of excitement precedes the same. Available from the start of November, the latest feature enables users to add embedded 3D animations and pictures to create outstanding presentations and aid more content retention for the end viewers.

Additions available with a mandate Microsoft 365 or Office 365 subscription and a touch/ink enabled device enable enhanced natural ways to add ink to your presentation. Easy conversion from digital pen ink to text on a slide. Also, this feature helps you to transform an entire selection of complex drawings and handwritten words to text and shapes at the same time. This feature is also available now, starting November 2018.

With many more updates still aligned to leave the public gaping for more, Microsoft 365 and Office 365 are takin user experience to a completely different level with the ease of visuals and cloud computing at fingertips

What’s new for Azure – Ansible with Azure – Cloud Computing just got better!!!

With the latest updates of Ansible that enables more of software automation provisioning, there are multiple new features that would be added to Microsoft Azure and change the way things were till now. Ansible 2.7, launched in the first week of October has a total of whopping 21 new Azure models and provides a plethora of automation opportunities for Azure. The deployment and configuration of numerous Azure resources can now be natively automated and would ease out tasks for the multitude of its users out there.

Some of the Azure resources that would rightaway benefit from this new update are

Azure Web Apps: Using Ansible, creation and configuration of web apps, REST APIs and mobile back ends have become much easier.

Azure Traffic Manager: With the help of Ansible, creation and configuration of Azure Traffic Manager for optimal traffic distribution reaching out services globally at Azure regions.

Azure Route: Override Azure’s old school routing through Ansible’s new means of creating and configuring your own routes.

Azure Applicate Gateway: Ansible lets you create and configure Azure Applicate Gateway and gives you easy ways to manage web traffic.

Azure Autoscale: Changing times and changing demands can be easily managed through creating and configuring Azure Autoscale to help applications perform their best.

Additional facts module for VM and ACR: Ansible makes access to information about virtual machines or Azure container registry for further configuration.

Ref: Ansible with Azure

Manage the Steep Costs of Business Downtime

You need continuous access to your data. Even an hour of downtime can cost your organization thousands of dollars, according to a recent study by the International Data Group.

A key part of running your business is keeping your data safe. Many businesses lose critical data because they don’t have a data backup solution. Microsoft Azure offers reliable and affordable backup and site recovery for your data and applications. And you only pay for the storage you use. There are no typical infrastructure costs or data transfer fees. You receive the same level of protection that Microsoft enterprise customers enjoy.

Benefits of cloud backup and storage

  • Lower costs for small and midsized businesses
  • Higher availability—the cloud has a built-in design for high availability to your data, configuring live resources to automatically take over for failed ones
  • Ease of deployment—Once an administrator configures the system, it just works.
  • World-class security—With Microsoft Azure cloud services, all data is encrypted to and from the cloud and while at rest.

World-class security—With Microsoft Azure cloud services, all data is encrypted to and from the cloud and while at rest.

What are your risks?

  • Data loss—without sufficient backup and storage, your company risks data loss during a natural disaster
  • High costs for downtime—Thirty-three percent of the respondents to a 2014 IDG Enterprise survey cited business continuity as a driver spurring cloud initiatives in their organization
  • Lack of compliance

Azure Site Recovery Multiple Deployment Architectures

Organizations need a DR strategy that determines how apps, workloads, and data stay running and available during planned and unplanned downtime, and recover to normal working conditions as soon as possible. Your DR strategy should keep business data safe and recoverable, and ensure that workloads remain continuously available when disaster occurs. Site Recovery is an Azure service that contributes to your DR strategy by orchestrating replication of onpremises physical servers and virtual machines to Azure. When outages occur in your primary location, you fail over to the secondary location to keep apps and workloads available. You fail back to your primary location when it returns to normal operations.

Orchestrated disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) Automate the orderly recovery of services in the event of a site outage at the primary datacenter with Site Recovery. Bring over applications in an orchestrated way to help restore service quickly, even for complex multi-tier workloads. Replication and disaster recovery to Azure Replicating your workloads to Azure enables new capabilities. Applications can be Migrated to Azure with just a few clicks or burst to Azure temporarily when you encounter a surge in demand. Run reports and analytics on copies of production workloads in Azure without impacting users. Continuous health monitoring with Site Recovery Site Recovery monitors the state of your protected instances continuously and remotely from Azure. All communication with Azure is encrypted. When replicating to Azure as the secondary site, your data is encrypted and you can also select encryption for data at-rest!

Advantages of Buying Azure

By creating a cloud service, you can deploy a multi-tier web application in Azure, defining multiple roles to distribute processing and allow flexible scaling of your application. A cloud service comprises of one or more web roles, each with its own application files and configuration. Azure Websites and Virtual Machines also enable web applications on Azure. One of the main advantages of cloud services is the ability to support more complex multi-tier architectures.

Microsoft Azure is a platform which offers secure cloud services to the user. The benefit which Azure offers than others is cross platform support. You can adopt Azure cloud system into your organization without disturbing the existing applications. Azure represents an overall IaaS and PaaS cloud solution that is fully integrated with Microsoft’s Office 365. SaaS offers so truly a one stop shop for integrated services.

 

For a very long set of things:

  • Data protection and Disaster Recovery
  • Web application hosting and continuous deployment/development
  • Virtual Machine deployment (IaaS)
  • Business inter connectivity (Service Bus)
  • Data Platform (SQL Azure, Mongo DB and others)

PaaS Capabilities

Both Azure and AWS offer similar IaaS capabilities for virtual machines, networking, and storage. However, Azure provides stronger PaaS capabilities which are an vital piece of Cloud infrastructure today.

Microsoft Azure PaaS provides application developers with the environment, tools, and building blocks that they need to quickly build and deploy new cloud services. It also gives the important ‘dev-ops’ connections which are important for monitoring, managing, and continually fine tuning those applications. With Azure PaaS, much of the infrastructure management is taken care by Microsoft. Thus, developing Azure PaaS solutions allow for a 100% focus on innovation.

Security Offerings

Microsoft was the first Cloud vendor to be approved by the European Union’s data protection authorities. They were also the first to embrace the new international standard for Cloud privacy, ISO 27018. Thus, Microsoft ensures the best in terms of safety and security for all operations and data on the Azure. Azure has been designed based on Security Development Life cycle which is an industry top leading assurance process. It comprises security at its core and private data and services stay protected and secured while they are on Azure Cloud.

Seamless Cloud Connectivity Hybrid Solution

Azure already has its hybrid capabilities in place. It constantly connects data centers to the Cloud. Azure gives a consistent platform which facilities simple mobility between on-premises and the public Cloud.

Unlike AWS, hybrid apps can be created on Azure which can take benefits of the resources accessible within data centers, at the organization service provider’s end, or within Azure itself. It also gives a broader range of hybrid connections including VPNs, caches, content delivery networks (CDNs), and ExpressRoute connections to improve usability and performance.

 

The all-new SharePoint 2019 attracts customers with 6 new added features:

The preview version launch of Sharepoint 2019 in the previous week left the public with a taste of innovation in their mouths and left them yearning for more. The launch exhibited a couple of additional features which were promised earlier and a word to wait for more. The same was reflected in the update by Bill Baer, the senior technical manager who said that the launch was just the beginning.

sharepoint 2019

The launch did not follow suit with the launches of Sharepoint 2016 and 2013 and spared the ruckus, which can be contributed to one reason that the updates are usually better versions of the already existing features, which is a Microsoft trend. Bill also mentioned that although 2019 will open new and modern features for the intuitive as well as the familiar user, people should not expect something extravagant as it is much similar to the core 2016 version.

Though the SharePoint o premises version still continue to retain and be popular among the customers as per a joint Sharegate-Nintex 2017 survey, there are also a couple of features that have been bid adieu to; to make way for the new ones to come in. The list of features that have been added to SharePoint 2019 for an enhanced customer experience are:

1: SharePoint Home Page: Allowing users for easily finding and accessing SharePoint sites within the organizations, including news from these and other suggested sites. This feature also allows the user to create sites from the home page if the administrator has enabled the ability to do so.

2: Lists and Libraries: Containing modern experiences for lists and libraries in team sites which bring the experience at par with SharePoint Online. This feature has been optimized for most common tasks such as moving files and pinning documents, adding files to links, applying filters and the like.

3: New Team, Site Pages: Communication pages which offer a platform for sharing news, displaying stories or broadcasting messages to other people. The new hero web part enables a display of upto five items including images, links and texts to focus on important content.

4: New Pages: Built using web parts, the new pages can be customized as per user needs. Adding documents, embedding videos, site activities, Yammer feeds, using Excel, PowerPoint and other Office tools are namely some features that would be enabled in these pages.

5: Modern Search Experience: Coming with an experience which helps them with common search results and updates the results once they start typing. The search results page in SharePoint 2019 shows compelling overview of search results which are grouped by type.

6: Lists: Providing individuals and teams the flexibility to access, share and collaborate around structured data and to bring information from others into SharePoint, business processes will be getting a huge support with this added feature. This feature simplifies the user experience in creating, curetting and interacting with information.

In addition to the discussed features, also there were a couple of features in the previous versions that will not be seen in SharePoint 2019 which are the Aggregate Newsfeed,     Custom Help, SharePoint Designer 2013, Multi-Tenancy, Visio Services and Code- based sandbox solutions.

Microsoft Inspire, Las Vegas 2018

Day 1 at Microsoft Inspire, Las Vegas

The 1st day at Microsoft Inspire, the largest annual meet conducted by Microsoft, year after year for its network partners to gather on one platform and review as well as ready for the next insights from Microsoft and also to broaden the community’s understanding of its services and products and brainstorm on ideas and solutions that can be offered to the customers around the globe to be able to use the available services in an increasingly efficient manner was a feast for the eyes. With the largest gathering of IT brains all across the world, the event presented the numerous partners and employees who traveled from lands near and far a plethora of opportunities than ever wherein everyone gathered in the T-Mobile Arena to hear to the world leaders talk about how Microsoft technologies and services were being channeled y the partners and global entrepreneurs to bring innovation and ease the life of customers and change business perspectives through intelligent transformation  across borders.

Microsoft Inspire 2018

The focus was also on the upcoming financial year 2019 on how industry specific solutions and customer centric policies and updates that would not only help acquire new customers and businesses but also help retain the previous clientele. New strategies, enhanced training methodologies and readiness opportunities for the new players that come into the market and anchor themselves with Microsoft technologies which would give them the much needed base for growth in the industry.

The evening also witnessed great insights from Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice president, One Commercial Partner, about programs, tools and resources that would help partners to rejuvenate as well as differentiate their business with the help of latest Microsoft technologies and updates.

 Day 2nd  Microsoft Inspire, Las Vegas

Corenote, about to start at 8.30 AM Pacific Time was filled with activities and similar sessions  with opportunities to connect with active partner communities at the Community Hub. Shuttle services from the hotels started from as early as 6 AM. With resources available to book meeting spaces and also tools that allow booking face-to- face meetings with other attendees till a maximum 9 members per meeting.  Also the meeting could be reserved for available slots at the MyInspire meeting tables or any other alternate locations. The Happy Hours in The Commons started from 5 PM to 7 PM that provided unparalleled opportunity to meet up fellow partners and Microsoft Ready Attendees.

Day 3rd  Microsoft Inspire, Las Vegas

that concluded the Corenote at Las Vegas, Nevada was made all the more worth it by the  address of Satya Nadella that enlightened the audience comprising of partners and employees on how Microsoft planned to harp on its mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more using its latest technologies such as the Microsoft Intelligent Cloud and Microsoft Intelligent Edge.  There were talks by Microsoft Solution area leaders who spoke about new resources and assets that aided delivery of strong Modern Life Solutions with stories from customers all around the world that showed how Microsoft 365 enabled employees to bring in more innovation and creativity into the workspace. Also, the day included details about the expansion of the Azure platform that enabled improvisation across multiple domains.

Enamoring the event were performances from Grammy Award Winner Bruno Mars at One Celebration, Las Vegas Motor Speedway which added to the quotient of entertainment, networking and fun of the event. With the event in full swing, Microsoft also added to the excitement by putting up 10 new announcements which have already started creating ripples in the market and the results of these announcements would be soon seen in numbers. The announcements put forth by Microsoft are as listed below

  • New marketplace capabilities such as Integrated Partner to Partner Solutions that will help channels grow their business with sales and deployment.
  • Expansion of Private Offers in Azure Marketplace that will help partners move away from standard prices, offer better buying prices to customers who in turn achieve a unique buying experience and meet their buying needs.
  • Special Bootcamps and free access to the dynamic self service for partners, including business insights which would help them get a better understanding of the business apps and enable them to understand performance and stability of their business.
  • Microsoft also announced advanced specialization and services for its partners that would help them go the extra mile and boost their profitability.
  • The Azure Expert MSP or Managed Service Provider program which begun as a pilot program earlier this year has been introduced by Microsoft for their partners who stand out of the crowd by demonstrating extra ordinary skills in delivering consistent Managed Services in Azure
  • Market Benefits Package: Helping its partners build market practices that are more targeted and help partners to select from four business packages depending on their business focus in the later part of the year.
  • New Apps and Technologies for Azure: Announcements regarding the launch of Azure Data Box Disk and Azure Firewall and Azure Virtual WAN. These innovations seem quite promising when it comes to data transfer within organizations as well as compliance policies.
  • Microsoft 365 Updates: Announcing the availability of Microsoft Teams collaboration app as a free version in the Office 365 suite. Also, an additional feature of Workplace Analytics was added that would help teams discover and meet challenges.
  • Updates on Software as Services: Releasing updates on a lot many services from its plethora of services such as Azure IoT Central which would in turn support for Power BI and Microsoft Flow to enable real time intelligence visualization.
  • Expansion of the Microsoft Library of free playbooks with two new additions to help its partners build practices in new arenas which would serve as guidelines for managing and developing cloud practices.

7 years of Nintex Partners Awards… Bitscape – Finalist for 2018 Business Acceleration

 

NINTEX-PARTNER-AWARD-FINALISTS-2018 - Bitscape

Continuing with the legacy that they have created almost 7 years back, Nintex is back once again with a list of finalists for its Nintex Partner Awards for this year soon to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Reaching out to companies that have optimally used the Nintex Platform and have demonstrated the versatility and the flexibility that can be achieved through Intelligent Process Automation, Nintex has been recognizing and felicitating organizations that have been helping clients in improvising their business processes through development of customized services and solutions.

With the Nintex Partner Awards night scheduled on the 15th July, the list of finalists is already out with 3 organizations from the Americas, EMEA and APAC across four categories that include: Business Excellence, Business Acceleration, Customer Success and Regional Spotlight.

Based on the innovative solutions that are provided, these companies have been able to make it to the list of finalists for these awards and are being recognized by Nintex as channel partners. The fruitful solutions they have provided in helping organizations improvise on their work and make the actual difference in streamlining processes at the bottom line itself and has actually pushed these companies to stand out among the crowd and make their place in this esteemed list.

A proud member of this list, Bitscape Infotech Pvt Ltd from USA has also made it to this list in the category of Business Acceleration for the Asia Pacific region and is one among the strong contenders for the award. Whilst everyone awaits for the names to be announced in a gala dinner night on the 15th July 2018 at Las Vegas, Nevada, it actually makes an immense difference with the progress that these organizations have led to by pushing one step at a time and inculcating latest technologies in day to day working environment.

 

Source: https://bit.ly/2z9TpOj