Microsoft Build 2021 - my personal Book of News

Posted on 6/4/2021

Note: this is not an exclusive list of all announcements. I will only go over the my personal highlights. For a full coverage see the Book of News

Microsoft //Build is the annual developer-focused conference from Microsoft. Typically Microsoft announce a bunch of new features, updates and share their strategy and vision. In this blog post I'll provide a summary of the announcements which stood out to me.

The pandemic is still around us, so this year was again fully (mostly) remotely (at least for the participants).

As for every Build the keynote of Satya Nadella is worth watching:

Build Opening | KEY01

Though, personally I think it feels a bit the same as the last years. My personal favorite was the Developer Keynote from Scott Hanselman & Friends:

Application Development with Scott Hanselman & Friends | KEY11D

This is a must watch in my opinion as I think it is one of the best key notes I have every watched.

.NET 6

.NET 6 Preview 4 is now available. (Learn more) With .NET 6 the following new options will be added:

  • .NET Multi-platform App UI (.NET MAUI)
    • .NET MAUI allows you to build native apps for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android with a single codebase
  • ASP.NET Blazor hybrid apps
    • Using .NET MAUI and Blazor you will be able to develop cross-platform desktop and web UIs. This enables you to use the native device capabilities.
  • Apple Silicon M1 support
  • Windows Forms and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) support on ARM64
  • Performance improvements


Run Application Services everywhere

The biggest announcement I think was the ability to host the Azure Application Services in ANY Arc enabled Kubernetes cluster. (Note: this is still preview) This covers the following Services:

After you onboarded the Kubernetes cluster to Azure Arc you can add the App Service extension and create a custom region which you can target later when deploying for example Azure Functions

Azure Functions deployment targeting a custom location

Azure Bicep

The Azure Bicep team shipped the next release (v0.4). Bicep enables you to write Infrastructure as Code more easily compared with ARM Templates while providing all features which are available through ARM. It provides concise syntax, better support for code reuse and type safety. With the new release it is easier to maintain code bases, simply code structure and validate code to reduce errors.

(Learn more)

Azure Functions

Durable Functions now supports PowerShell Durable Functions are an extension for Azure Functions. It enables you for example to write long-running workflows. Learn more

Azure Data

Azure Cosmos DB

  • Azure Cosmos DB serverless is now generally available for all APIs
  • Serverless DBs will only run when they are used. Due to this fact they can be more cost efficient, especially for spiky traffic and for apps with periodically traffic (e.g. once a Month/Day).
  • Azure Cosmos DB Linux emulator is now in preview
  • Azure Cosmos DB expanded free tier is now generally available.
  • You can now use up to 1000 request units and 25GB storage for free monthly for one Cosmos DB Account
  • Azure Cosmos DB integrated cache is now in preview
  • Partial document update for Azure Cosmos DB is in private preview
  • Always Encrypted for Azure Cosmos DB is now in preview
    • You can now encrypt sensitive data in you client app before it gets stored in Cosmos DB
  • Azure Cosmos DB role-based access control (RBAC) is now generally available
    • Improves data security using RBAC with Azure AD integration

Azure Database

  • Azure SQL Database now has ledger capability in preview (Learn more)
    • Ledger provides cryptographic verification for enterprise customers
  • A free 12-month offer for developers to get started with Azure Databases for PostgreSQL and Azure Database for MySQL – Flexible Server is coming soon
  • Azure Database for PostgreSQL – Hyperscale (Citus) now has a basic tier, available in preview

Azure Kubernetes Services

  • Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI is now generally available
  • General available : Encryption at host support
  • General available : Azure RBAC for Kubernetes Authorization
  • Preview : Kubernetes 1.21
  • Preview : Support for Windows server containers
  • Preview : FIPS compliant nodes

Other minor announcements

  • Azure Security Center (ASC) can now show container scan results found by a GitHub Action (Learn more)

  • Easy onboarding of Application Insights for Java apps on Azure App Services, now in preview

  • Azure Spot VMs are now generally available on Azure Databricks

  • Event Hubs Premium SKU in public preview (Learn more)

    • The Premium SKU enables multitenant support with resource isolation, providing more predictable high-throughput and low latency
  • Azure Monitor (Learn more)

    • Easy onboarding of Application Insights for Java apps on Azure App Services, now in preview
    • Query packs in log analytics is in preview
  • Microsoft Build of OpenJDK

    • Microsoft release a long-term support (LTS) distribution of OpenJDK. Microsoft is providing this free for anyone to deploy anywhere and is fully supported by Microsoft. Learn more
  • New Azure Marketplace Offers to boost enterprise Java applications

    • Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) VM Image
    • WebSphere Application Server (Traditional) VM Image


  • WSL 2.0 now supports grapical user interface apps
  • Microsoft Edge will be the best-performing Browser on Windows 10
    • Performance improvements due to sleeping tabs, startup boots. Those features are exclusive to Edge
  • Edge WebView2 (Windows UI Libary (WinUI) 3) is now production ready