Cloud Platform Release Announcements for October 12, 2016

This is a blog post of a new ongoing series of consolidated updates from the Cloud Platform team.

In today’s mobile first, cloud first world, Microsoft provides the technologies and tools to enable enterprises to embrace a cloud culture. Our differentiated innovations, comprehensive mobile solutions and developer tools help all of our customers realize the true potential of the cloud first era.

You expect cloud-speed innovation from us, and we’re delivering across the breadth of our Cloud Platform product portfolio. Below is a consolidated list of our latest releases to help you stay current, with links to additional details if you’d like more information. In this update:

  • Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights | Public
  • Windows Server 2016 | GA - Bits available
  • System Center 2016 | Official GA
  • Power BI solution templates | GA
  • Azure SQL DB protects and secures data | Temporal Tables GA
  • SQL Server 2016 Express on Docker Hub | GA
  • App Service: Linux web apps | Soft launch Public Preview

Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights | Public

Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights is a new SaaS solution that helps you engage your customers better by empowering your employees with actionable insights. The first capability of this solution, available in preview on 11/1, is Customer 360. This capability lets you merge all your customer data to create a dynamic 360-degree view of each customer’s interactions, engagement & purchase history. And then give specific role-based insights to your employees to delight your customers.Built on top of the Microsoft’s industry leading Cortana Intelligence platform and leveraging our investments in artificial intelligence, this solution empowers marketing, sales and service professionals with the power of advanced analytics and machine learning. The application will have out of the box connecters for Dynamics 365 and for Salesforce Marketing Cloud, with the ability to pull data from any other CRM, ERP or business application that our customers use.

Windows Server 2016 | GA - Bits available

Windows Server and System Center 2016 Generally Available October 12Following an exciting launch with evaluation versions on September 26 at Ignite, we are now pleased to announce that both Windows Server and System Center 2016 will be generally available on October 12.Call to action:

System Center 2016 | Official GA

Announcing the general availability of System Center 2016, the enterprise-class datacenter management solution for hybrid environments and first choice for Windows Server 2016 management! System Center 2016 was launched at the Microsoft Ignite event last month as a limited evaluation and is now fully available in the download center and MSDN. With this release, you can streamline monitoring, provisioning, and automation for new innovations in Windows Server 2016, and realize the value of the software-defined data center, from network management to Nano servers. Additionally, several new capabilities respond to customer demands for increased speed and efficiency, and provide support for the ever-changing, diverse environments of modern organizations. System Center 2016 is also available as part of Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) subscriptions.To learn more, view the blog and visit the System Center website.

Power BI solution templates | GA

The Power BI solution templates for System Center Configuration Management Analytics, Campaign/Brand Management for Twitter, Sales Management for Salesforce and Sales Management for Dynamics CRM are now available. Visit to learn how to set up a solution for common BI problems in hours, execute a quick proof of concept and work with a group of pre-selected partners to meet your customization needs. For more information on the solution templates, visit the Power BI blog. For questions, please contact

Azure SQL DB protects and secures data | Temporal Tables GA

Azure SQL Database Temporal Tables generally availableTemporal Tables let you track the full history of data changes in Azure SQL Database without custom coding. You can focus data analysis on a specific point in time and use a declarative cleanup policy to control retention of historical data. Designed to improve productivity when you develop applications, Temporal Tables can help:
  • Support data auditing in applications.
  • Analyze trends or detect anomalies over time.
  • Implement slowly changing dimension patterns.
  • Perform fine-grained row repairs in cases of accidental data errors made by humans or applications.
For more information on how to integrate Temporal Tables in an application, please visit the Getting Started with Temporal Tables in Azure SQL Database documentation webpage. To use temporal retention, please visit the Manage temporal history with retention policy documentation webpage.

SQL Server 2016 Express on Docker Hub | GA

We are excited to announce the public availability of SQL Server 2016 Express Edition in Windows containers! The SQL Server Docker images are now available on Docker Hub and the build scripts are hosted on our SQL Server GitHub repository. This SQL Server 2016 Express image can be used in both Windows Server Containers as well as Hyper-V Containers.  Read our blog post on the SQL Server Blog to learn more and get started on Docker Hub today!

App Service: Linux web apps | Soft launch Public Preview

Improving Azure App Service Node.js and PHP Developer Experience with Linux SupportIn March 2015, Azure App Service entered general availability with the goal of making it easier for Web developers to do cool things in the cloud. In addition to a great experience for .NET developers, it also included support for the PHP, Node.js, Java and Python stacks as well as a number of open source Web products. Today, a new public preview introduces new native Linux support for Node.js and PHP stacks.

Visual Studio "15" | Public

On Wednesday, October 5, we announced the public preview 5 of Visual Studio "15", the next version of the popular developer tools Visual Studio.As detailed in John Montgomery's  blog post announcing the availability of Visual Studio "15" Preview 5, the release includes our most recent feature innovations and improvements in performance and productivity.To learn more, read the release notes.

Azure AD Domain Services | GA

Azure Active Directory Domain Services are now generally availableAzure Active Directory Domain Services are now generally available and they can provide scalable, high-performance, managed domain services such as domain-join, LDAP, Kerberos, Windows Integrated Authentication and Group Policy support. With the click of a button, administrators can enable managed domain services for Linux and Windows virtual machines and directory-aware applications deployed in Azure Infrastructure Services. By maintaining compatibility with Windows Server Active Directory, Azure AD Domain Services provide an easy way to migrate traditional on-premises applications to the cloud.For more information, please visit the web site of Azure Active Directory Domain Services.