Ignite 2017 – notes from the Orlando
Ignite this year was TOTAL awesome as usual. Intro speech provided by Satya wonderful, so many news and structured vision of next roadmap and integration. So many announcements. I was sometime a little bit concerned about separate products and about the meaning behind it. I am still trying to understand some missing connections or multiple choice of possible selection of some specific product for some specific scenario at customers, however everything starting to make a sense more and more. I can totally recommend downloading the PowerShell script from the TechNet to download all the videos and slide decks (or some selection) and look on few innovative topics which you are interested in. I am not saying that everything is supercool, however there were few sessions with wow effect, that’s for sure. I summarized some of my notes into a few bullets, just to provide you some samples from the massive wave of innovation.
Some of my personal notes from the event:
- Machine Learning Workbench Preview – you can install this as a product on your desktop and connect it to the other side in the Azure. Your workspace, your projects, complete video or text guide, perfect for everyday Data Science. What I really love most are those examples on the main page you can select of and went through the specific scenario. Really excited about this product!!
- PowerBI updated insights
- Email subscriptions for Power BI apps – you can now subscribe to all the reports and dashboards, this is fantastic feature for corporate environments, where this was possible only in SQL Reporting Services. More HERE.
- Live Tiles BOT – I chat with the guys from Live Tiles about the progress on their framework based on SharePoint in the cloud and was totally amazed about their extension in chatbot. Well as I also working on some chatbots project as well I know what is all about a little bit, however I was surprised about their approach with the possibility of creation of the bot. You can select different personality of the bot, many other things as well and using UI, no coding at all. In the end you will just confirm everything and that’s it!! Amazing, how those guys progress with their solution. I can remember when everything was in the beginning and they asked for some articles, so they can push those on their webpages and now, not only that they provide quick and simple solution for cloud based SharePoint pages but also with interesting addons like chatbots. Like it. Don’t know so many related products on the market, but maybe I overlooked something let me know in this case, however look on it HERE.
- BING Custom search
- Possible cloning of current setups
- Own endpoints creation possibilities
- Possibility to define own look and feel
- Possibility to deploy on Azure and emceed into own page
- New BING API v7 as a part of Cognitive Services, so possible use of custom search from BOTs and other solutions
- Microsoft Threat Modeling Tool 2016
Did you ever hear about this tool? I don’t and was really surprised that something like this exist. Microsoft Threat Modeling Tool 2016 is a tool that helps in finding threats in the design phase of software projects. It is available for free, can only recommend on this address
- BING Speech API
Well this wasn’t something new on the Ignite, however I firstly was able to test this feature in some event and that was what I wanted and never had a time for that. I was always surprised, how this feature will work when there will be a lot of noise around you. Conference is an ideal test case for testing it. And to be honest It was GREAT! I was really surprised how Speech API can recognize perfectly your voice without any background noises and convert the audio into the text. I expected many disruptions because there was really many people around it, many noises etc. But It just convert my sentences into the text like nothing without any unexpected words from the background or some mistakes in conversion. Perfect. Not only in English, friends of mine tested this also in German and Chinese. Again – without any mistake. So this seems to be perfect solution for some voice based apps. I am thinking of using this for audio channel for chatbot based on BOT Framework, as User will tell something, BING Speech API will convert this into the text and this text should be provided to chatbot, after that chatbot can use some of the free modules for talking back for example. I am talking here about onprem chatbot, where you can’t use out of box SfB Online connector as you have SfB onprem as well. Well done service
- LUIS Preview functions – Prebuild Domains
Those of you who are building some bots and using NLP (Nature Language Processing) from Microsoft garden, you can meet this new feature in preview. Me and my team were tried to discover how to implement to chatbot more generic chat possibilities (our boss calls it chit-chats). Well, this new feature looks partially usable for the scenario as you can just turn-on/turn-off specific areas which represents group of intents/entities for the NLP/LUIS from different topics. So after import of some, chatbot will be able to recognize questions from that specific topic as he recognize entities and will realize what the intent should be. I have to say, that this feature looks interesting, however there are only few areas so you have to be lucky at the moment and find there what you want. So on the other side I am still interesting, if there is some possibility to connect chatbot to some general experienced/learned set of chat conversation library for LUIS etc. I think that bot has to primary learn on specific knowledge areas, that’s for sure, but the general part for general conversation is something different. For example is it possible to somehow use cortana’s part of the brain? Thing for think
- Cortana Intelligence
There are a few solutions, that inspire me a lot. One of the interesting one is related to BOT framework – solution which when you deploy, provides you complete BOT using BOT framework, connected to the Skype and possible to communicate via VOICE. Wow, on one click. Nice! test it HERE, estimated cost per day: $11,08
With such a technologies and right vision, you can start almost immediately as there are plenty of prebuild prepared solutions and examples, which you can start with and customize those based on your specific scenarios. It wasn’t never easier I think. Do you want to optimize some of your sector by Machine Learning? Perfect, just go to the ML gallery and prepare some template most close to your requirements, deploy it to the Azure and start your own way with additional customization. Want to add there some PowerBI report? No problem, there are many examples, so you have where to start. This is replicable to many other products and areas. You can find many solutions which combines services from many cloud areas of Microsoft and you can deploy them using DEPLOY button easily. You can prepare the whole audio BOT with one click etc.