Azure’s Portal Management Solution has reached it ‘general availability’ status, as announced by Microsoft in the first week of Dec 2015. The startup performance of the portal is now almost 50 percent faster with increased consistency. Also, the ‘blade’ resources are made simplified and now load 300 percent faster than before.

Azure portal, which is used to manage various Azure resources, was in the ‘preview stage’ for the past one year and finally completed its long journey to get the GA status and became commercially available, replacing the ‘classic portal’, as generally referred by Microsoft.

Background

Azure Management portal was released in the year 2012 allowing users to provision instances of services, infrastructure or apps instantly. The portal displayed all the applications and services deployed on Azure at the same place which makes it easier to manage them. Although the portal came in with a lot of promises, its compatibility was limited only to laptops and PCs, isolating portable devices like mobile and to some extent, tablets; this ignited the need of a new portal.

Azure Preview portal came out in 2014 and was built for responsive layouts to overcome the limitations in previous version. The new release came with 44 new Azure features and services which aimed at easing the development of mobile and web apps. Additionally, developers were provided with the opportunity to build and manage their apps at a single place. Azure is basically an IaaS and PaaS, and the Preview Portal was designed to handle both functionalities.

New Feature Highlights

Fully Customizable – Completely customizable dashboard personalized as per users’ wish by changing the size of tiles, pin graphs, etc.

Deep Analytics – Variety of insights of your customer to ascertain success on the long run.

Track Finances – A detailed view of projected spends in the dashboard to know on what exactly user is spending money.

Easy Access To ‘Console’ – Ability to jump right to the console through the browser.

Broad Language Support – Ability to develop using languages like .NET, PHP, node.js, Python & Java (added as an updated support feature)

Other functionalities – Several new features for mobile developers like single sign-on with Active Directory, remote debugging and offline data sync. Also offers SDK for developers to integrate Active Directory into iOS and Android apps.

Azure preview portal works perfectly with both Windows & Linux machines in the cloud, along with an added advantage of running VMs as standalone or joint to a network. Developers are also provided with the ease to create and manage VMs using Visual Studio.

The Path Ahead

There have been a lot of improvements in the Azure portal since it was first released as Azure Management Portal in 2012 and gaining ‘General Availability’ status in Dec 2015. By overcoming minor shortcomings and battling with the cut-throat competition throughout their journey, the release is directed towards enhancing the overall Azure experience and attracting more users towards its usage. The new functionalities are ready to be explored on how they can be more beneficial for business and how successful it is in achieving its pre-set goals.