Microsoft Power BI Visualizes IoT Data From Azure Stream Analytics


A new integration allows customers to create real-time dashboards based on Internet of things data from their Azure Stream Analytics.

Microsoft’s business intelligence and analytics product, Power BI, is already helping enterprises keep an eye on key business metrics by transforming big data into charts, tables and other visualizations. Now, Azure Stream Analytics customers can use the cloud-based tool to convert Internet of things (IoT) data into insights that update in real time.Capable of handling millions of events per second, Azure Stream Analytics enables organizations to perform real-time analytics on data from IoT devices using an SQL-like language. Used in conjunction with Azure Event Hubs and IoT Hubs—two other cloud-based IoT communications and data collection services—Stream Analytics enables customers to aggregate and filter streaming data for further analysis.This week, Microsoft released a new output connector for Power BI, ushering in the creation of interactive, live dashboards that offer users an up-to-the-minute overview of their IoT device deployments.”This will dramatically reduce the latency and time to action on your most important business metrics,” said Ryan CrawCour, a program manager at Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics, in an April 21 announcement. “We have been working with hundreds of customers in public preview to visualize data from sensors, business applications, social media, user logs, etc.”

The connector can help eliminate several steps involved in building an analytics solution, said CrawCour. In addition to ingesting, processing and storing data in a database, drawing insights from IoT sensors, devices and applications often requires developers to build custom software that is in constant communication with the database. Further, they are also often required to build the end-user dashboards.

Ultimately, the new integration can reduce complexity and add a new level of responsiveness to IoT-enabled business processes, added CrawCour. “Real-time dashboards provide a live view of the metrics that matter most to your business allowing for faster time to insight and action.”Meanwhile, Microsoft is offering customers a behind-the-scenes look at how IoT Hub handles a sudden influx of data.In blog post, Nicole Berdy, a Microsoft Azure IoT program manager, explained that IoT Hub runs on the same hardware that runs other customer IoT Hubs, thereby making it a shared resource. To keep the service from collapsing under denial of service-like spikes in usage and affecting other customers, Microsoft throttles device connections, device-to-cloud telemetry, requests and commands as they flow through the service.Also this week, Microsoft unveiled a public preview of new JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) functionality in Azure SQL, allowing the cloud database to easily ingest JSON data, exchange that data with other systems and services using JSON documents and create flexible data models. “Azure SQL Database works with JSON documents in standard well-known textual format. There is no need to convert your JSON documents to some custom binary serialization format or type, or to reload or transform your JSON data,” assured Jovan Popovic, a program manager in Microsoft’s Azure SQL Database team, in a separate blog post.

By Pedro Hernandez
Source: eweek

Microsoft (MSFT) Sues US Government Over Secret User Data Requests

Satya Nadella Microsoft


Microsoft Corp.  has sued the U.S. government for the right to tell its customers when a federal agency is looking at their emails, the latest in a series of clashes over privacy between the technology industry and Washington.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in the Western District of Washington, argues that the government is violating the U.S. Constitution by preventing Microsoft from notifying thousands of customers about government requests for their emails and other documents.

The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

The government’s actions contravene the Fourth Amendment, which establishes the right for people and businesses to know if the government searches or seizes their property, the suit argues, and the First Amendment right to free speech.

Microsoft’s suit focuses on the storage of data on remote servers, rather than locally on people’s computers, which Microsoft says has provided a new opening for the government to access electronic data.

Using the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the government is increasingly directing investigations at the parties that store data in the so-called cloud, Microsoft says. The 30-year-old law has long drawn scrutiny from technology companies and privacy advocates who say it was written before the rise of the commercial internet and is therefore outdated.

“People do not give up their rights when they move their private information from physical storage to the cloud,” Microsoft says in the lawsuit, a copy of which was seen by Reuters. It adds that the government “has exploited the transition to cloud computing as a means of expanding its power to conduct secret investigations.”



Source: ibtimes

Microsoft, major banks strike blockchain deal

Microsoft logo

Jim Young | Reuters

Microsoft has struck a deal with a group of leading banks to help develop blockchain-like technology, the U.S. technology giant said on Monday.

Blockchain is the technology that underlies the cryptocurrency bitcoin. It works like a huge, decentralized ledger for bitcoin which records every transaction and stores this information on a global network so it cannot be tampered with. Banks feel blockchain technology can be utilized in areas from remittances to securities exchanges.

Banks around the world are looking into the technology which could disrupt the processes carried out by lenders.

Microsoft and the R3 Consortium, a group of the world’s biggest banksincluding JPMorgan and Citigroup that is dedicated to researching and delivering new financial technology, said they would work together to “accelerate the use of distributed ledger technologies, also known as blockchain”.

Under the terms of the “strategic partnership”, Microsoft Azure will be the cloud service provider for R3. Microsoft will provide cloud-based tools, services and infrastructure for R3 as well as dedicated technical architects, project managers, lab assistants and support services, the companies said.

“With intelligent, cloud-based technology, R3 and member banks will experiment and learn faster, accelerating distributed ledger technology deployment,” Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of global business development at Microsoft, said in a press release.

R3 and its members will have access to Microsoft’s blockchain partners which includes the likes of start-ups Ethereum and Ripple. .


By: Arjun Kharpal

Source: CNBC

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