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Archives de Catégorie: APPLICATIONS & DIGITAL

//Build 2017 – EF Core 2.0 / UWP streamable install / WinForms-WPF

Entity Framework Core 2.0: data, mobile, server, IoT, and more
Rowan Miller

This session presented the new features brought by EF Core 2.0, which is out as Preview 1 right now.

Like .NET Core, EF Core is built against .NET Standard 2.0 which means that it can be used on any platform: Windows, Xamarin, HoloLens, IoT, Linux, etc.

Here’s the summary of the new features demonstrated

  • Global Query Filters
  • Flexible Mapping
  • Context Pooling
  • Compiled Queries
  • Some currently in development features were also shown like complex type mapping (which already exists in EF6) and better migration with « SeedData ».

    Global Query Filters allows to define filters at the DbContext level.
    For example in soft delete scenario, instead of excluding « IsDeleted = True » in every queries, we can define in the configuration of the DbContext to exclude it globally.
    This is done with the following code:

    modelBuilder.Entity<Blog>().HasQueryFilter(p => !p.IsDeleted)

    The interesting part of that line of code is that the QueryFilter part is evaluated at every query.
    This allows to do things like this.

    public class MyDbContext : DbContext
    {
        public string TenantId {get; set; }
    
        public void OnConfigure(...)
        {
            modelBuilder.Entity<Blog>().HasQueryFilter(b => b.TenantId == TenantId);
        }
    }
    

    Flexible Mapping allows more possibilities when mapping a C# object to a table.
    One possibility is mapping a private field to a column.

    modelBuilder.Entity<Blog>.Property<string>("TenantId").HasField("_tenantId")
    

    When we want to retrieve the value of the column, we can write that line

    var value = EF.Property<string>(row, "TenantId")
    

    Context Pooling allows the use a pool of already instantiated DbContext (like a ThreadPool) when working with DI.
    Enabling it is pretty straightforward, just replace « .AddDbContext() » by « .AddDbContextPool() ».
    It has some restrictions because the DbContext needs to be cleaned before each use.

    Compiled Queries are now available in EF Core.

    var query = EF.CompiledQuery((DbContext dbContext, int id) => dbContext.Table.First(a => a.Id == id))
    var result = query(dbContext, id);
    

    During the session, the speaker demonstrated the « EF Everywhere » by running a UWP application with EF Core on a Raspberry Pi named « Unicorn Launcher » that launched a small rocket into the air.

    https://docs.efproject.net
    https://github.com/aspnet/entityframework
    https://github.com/rowanmiller/demo-efcore

    XAML custom controls for UWP: Start to finish
    John Bristowe, Nikola Metulev

    This was a disappointing session.
    I tried my chances with this session based on its description which promised to explain the best pratices and UX design patterns for accessibility and input methods (mouse, keyboard, game controller, HoloLens) when creating custom controls in XAML.

    But in fact, it was a plain simple session on how to use and create controls in XAML (that is the same thing since the introduction of WPF 10 years ago).

    This session was more of an advertisement for UWP Community Toolkit and UI for Telerik.

    Here’s what we saw

    • 1st party controls: Button, TextBox, etc.
    • 3rd party controls: UWP community toolkit, Telerik, etc.
    • Restyled controls (Style, Template)
    • Extended controls (Inheriting controls to add behaviors)
    • Custom controls

    Nextgen UWP app distribution: Building extensible, stream-able, componentized apps
    John Vintzel, Sandeep George

    This session talked about some new features for UWP concerning the distribution of the apps.

    First, we were shown the « App streaming installation » feature that allows to download only a « required » part of the application and run it even before its full download. This can be compared to how Xbox games can be partially downloaded and run.

    This is available right now in the Creators Update.

    All the magic lies in a manifest file named « AppxContentGroupMap.xml » that is included in the UWP app. The Windows Store then uses this file to know how to install it.
    This feature comes with all the needed API to finely manage how to application reacts to missing parts, prioritizes parts to download and gets feedback on the progression of the download.

    APIs are also available to debug the app to simulate a state of partial download.

    For more information, see https://aka.ms/uwpstreaminginstall

    Coming in the Fall Creators Update, optional packages for UWP will be available.
    We can see it as DLC or plugins for existing UWP apps.
    It extends an existing app (or many) by adding contents and/or features and it can be sold separately.
    A UWP app that allows for optional packages can also receive packages from other publishers.

    For more information, see https://aka.ms/uwpoptionalpackages

    Modernize WinForms and WPF apps with maximum code reuse, cross-platform reach, and efficient DevOps
    Joshua Weber, Mike Battista

    This session was also non-surprising.
    It was aimed at those stuck with WinForms/WPF and who didn’t followed the other technologies in the meantime.

    To start, we were explained how to leverage the Desktop Bridge to take advantage of all the new APIs of Windows 10.
    Then, by moving the codebase of an existing app to a .NET Standard 2.0 lib, the code was reused into a Xamarin app.
    To end this session, we were presented Visual Studio Mobile Center to setup CI/CD for the Xamarin app.

//Build 2017 Day 3 – Sessions

Pour ce dernier jour de la build nous avons eu plusieurs sessions sur le future des outils/langages de Microsoft.

1- The future of Visual Studio

Cette session présentée par Amanda Silver, Tim Sneath avec une intro de Sadiq Shaikh que le grand public a découvert lors de la //Build 2016 avec le projet des lunettes connectés pour aveugle.

Sadiq Shaikh est intervenu pour nous montrer comment un aveugle peut coder. Il a commencé par énuméré les différentes nouveautés coté accessibilité dans Visual Studio et enfin il a terminé par une démo époustouflante du développement d’une appli console « Hello World » !

Amanda Silver a enchainé avec les nouveautés dans la version courante de VS 2017 et la prochaine MAJ (l’update 3 qui est en preview) :

    • Live Unit Testing qui arrive sur .NET Core.
    • Les nouvelles fonctionnalités de refactorisation (qui vont visiblement évolués encore plus)
    • L’amélioration de l’intellisense
    • Une nouvelle UI pour la recherche de références
    • Les moyens de rajouter un container Docker (windows ou Linux) dans la dialog de création de projet et avec un clique droit sur un ancien projet web.
    • Une extension Continuous delivery qui permet d’être notifié des differents evenements qui se passent sur VSTS

Tim Sneath a terminé la session sur plusieurs démo qui concerne le développement C++ d’un projet Linux qui s’exécute (avec du debug) en local sans VM en utilisant le subsystem linux de Windows 10.

2- The future of C#

Le nom de cette session est encore une fois trompeur, je n’ai vu que deux ou trois évolution de C# lors des 10 dernières minutes de la session, le reste était plus un rappel des dernières évolution de C# 7 (notamment les out variables, Is-expressions with patterns,  … ).

Les nouveautés présentés sont :

3- What’s new with the Microsoft Bot Framework

Plusieurs annonces:

4- Modern front-end web development in Visual Studio 2017

Dans cette session, Mads Kristensen l’inventeur de Web Essentials nous a fait quasiment que des démos pour nous présenter les fonctionnalités qui améliorent la vie d’un développeur front-end dans Visual Studio 2017 via des plugins:

Avec une mention spécial pour Client-Side Library Installer qui sera proposé dans un premier temps via un plugin et plus tard intégré nativement dans Visual Studio. Ce Plugin permet d’installer (restaurer) et de consommer facilement des bibliothèques côté client tiers: il suffit de précisé la source (cdnjs, npm (à venir), filesystem …) la lib avec sa version, le ou les fichier à récupérer, et la destination (voir le readme sur GitHub). Super plugin !

Et aussi une petite partie sur comment le compilateur TypeScript peut maintenant dans Visual studio (via une option activable dans le tsconfig + doc JSdoc) faire de l’analyse et des contrôles dans un fichier JavaScript sans aucun fichier .ts ou .d.ts

Et pour terminer, une belle découverte JavaScriptServices un ensemble de techno client-side pour ASP.NET Core qui fournit l’infrastructure pour:

  • Utiliser Angular 2/ React / Vue / Aurelia / Knockout / etc.
  • Compiler les ressources du front avec Webpack.
  • Exécuter le JS sur le serveur au runtime.
  • Faire du prerendering coté serveur pour un affichage instantané de l’HTML coté client et pour l’indexation dans les moteurs de recherche.

//Build 2017 – Visual Studio Mobile Center / Fluent Design

Visual Studio Mobile Center: Ship mobile apps faster
Keith Ballinger, Thomas Dohmke

This session presented the new Visual Studio Mobile Center that aims to bring into a single place every aspect of continuous integration and delivery as well as every services used in mobile development like authentication and push notifications.

In a few simple steps, we can quickly setup a continuous build on each push to a git repository (hosted in GitHub, VSTS, BitBucket). Then UI tests will be run by Xamarin Test Cloud, and finally the app can be distributed by Hockey App.
Also we are given 2 lines of code to add to our apps to enable Application Insights.
All that without leaving Mobile Center.

It supports Xamarin.iOS, Xamarin.Android, Objective-C, Swift, Java, ReactNative and UWP apps.
Cordova is not supported for the moment.

The build agent is hosted in the cloud, which means that we don’t need to have a Mac to compile iOS apps.

New features were announced

  • Partial support of UWP
  • Automated store distribution for UWP
  • More supported git hosting services (VSTS, BitBucket)
  • Push notifications campaign with analytics data-based targeting

This service is still in preview and free for the moment.
No pricing available as of now.

If you want to checkout Visual Studio Mobile Center, here’s the url: https://mobile.azure.com

Build Amazing Apps with Fluent Design
James Clarke, Paul Gusmorino

Another session packed with lots of sweet things, especially for me who loves XAML/UWP and UX design.

I recommend that you watch the replay as it’s a really visual session, difficult to transcribe by words.

This session presented all the new concepts of Fluent Design and how to implement them in XAML for UWP.

Fluent Design is based on 5 concepts:

  • Light: subtly highlight elements on the UI to give users feedback and make for discoverability
  • Depth: play with different levels of depth (like a parallax) to give a dynamic feeling to the app
  • Material: apply different kinds of « materials » on some parts of the application, rather than just putting flat colors, to make the app prettier
  • Motion: place animations in the app so that it feels fluid, especially when navigating from page to page
  • Scale: adapt to the space available, mostly true when making UWP apps that works on PC and on HoloLens

In XAML, some new features were shown to support for those concepts:

  • Reveal Highlight: dynamic lightning on controls when approaching the cursor and/or clicking (<Button Style= »{ThemeResource ButtonRevealStyle} »/>)
  • Commanding in collections: add support of Context Menu and swipe into collections like ListView

New controls for UWP were also shown:

  • NavigationView: full-featured navigation panel (burger menu) with its content pane.Can be seen like a SplitView++
  • RatingsControl
  • ColorPicker
  • Repeater: Repeat a group of UI elements
  • ParallaxView: Scroll its content in sync with another scrollable control to give parallax effect
  • 360° video support in UWP
  • SVG support in XAML

The demo app can be found at http://aka.ms/buildcast

Documentation on fluent design can be found at the following links
http://design.windows.com
http://fluent.microsoft.com

//Build 2017 – Xamarin: The future of mobile app development

Lots of great announcements in this crowded session.

Xamarin Live Player
Announced at the morning keynote, Xamarin Live Player seems to be an awesome tool for developing mobile apps.
Directly on real devices (both iPhone and Android), it adds live reloading of both the UI and the C# code, without even saving the files in Visual Studio!
That way, we don’t waste time when we want to make a change (big or small). No need to stop debugging, make a small change, recompile, and restart debugging.

It works both on Visual Studio and Visual Studio for Mac with an alpha version of the Xamarin SDK.

On the devices, an application « Xamarin Live Player » has to be installed. After that we only need to pair our device to Visual Studio.
A specific debug option will appear in Visual Studio to launch a debug session through the Xamarin Live Player that will interpret our app rather than install it the classic way, enabling live reloading.

This works both for Xamarin.Forms and classic Xamarin.
A really great side effect of the interpretation part of Xamarin Live Player is that when developing on Windows, no Mac is needed for debugging (it still is required for release)!

iOS provisioning wizard
One thing that is really really bothering when developing iOS apps is that we need to declare lots of things in the Apple Developer portal: one certificate per build/developer machine, one registration per device, one App ID declaration per application and finally one provisioning profile which links all the previous items.

That means when starting a new app, it really is complicated to setup everything.
Even when working on an already setup project, if there is a new developer or a new device, we need to update the developer portal and revoke certificates, and so on.
This results in lot of lost time.

Today Microsoft announced the upcoming of an integrated wizard inside VS for Mac that handles all that declaration part just by a handful of clicks:
– No certificate on the Mac? Click, done.
– No App ID matching the bundle name? Click, done.
– Device not registered in the portal? Click, done.
– Device not part of the existing provisioning profile? Click, done.
This will really simplify developing for iOS.

Embeddinator 4000
Just like we can use native libs (Objective-C, Swift, Java) inside a .NET Xamarin app, Microsoft announced the ability to use .NET libs inside native apps written in ObjC, Swift and Java.

It is even possible to write UI code in .NET and use it in a native app!

More info at: https://github.com/mono/embeddinator-4000

And lots of other things…
I won’t get into the details, but here are some of the other announcements

  • Easier native bindings: CocoaPods importer, SwiftNetifier
  • Multi process debugging for iOS and Android
  • New integrated SDK Manager for Android inside Visual Studio
  • Xamarin.Forms for MacOS, Linux and WPF
  • Xamarin.Forms pages embedding inside native apps
  • AOT compilation for Android/MacOS; Hybrid mode compilation (AOT+JIT) for Android/MacOS
  • SkiaSharp for cross-platform 2D
  • UrhoSharp for cross-platform 3D

If you want to know more, be sure to watch the replay on Channel9!

//Build 2017 Day2 – Sessions

Lors de cette journée consacrée à Windows, j’ai assisté à plusieurs sessions où malheureusement le  contenue tournaient autour de quasiment le même sujet.

App Model evolution

Dans cette session  Andrew Clinick a présenté les évolutions de l’app Model:

  • Simplification et l’amélioration de la vitesse de distribution.
  • Les delta de MAJ
  • Self UWP updating apps (pour les applications installées en dehors du store)
  • Microsoft conseille fortement l’utilisation du desktop bridge, non pas pour être dans le store, mais pour améliorer fortement l’expérience utilisateur, dans le sens où l’installation/désinstallation de l’application sera « propre » avec 0 impact sur le système.

Quelques infos sur le Desktop Bridge :

  • Il ne convertit pas les applications mais plutôt le MSI, xcopy …
  • l’application ne change quasiment pas
  • Office et Microsoft teams utilisent le desktop bridge
  • Amélioration de l’engagement des utilisateurs avec plusieurs outils :
    • Le project Rome
    • Les adaptatives cards (via la nouvelle fonctionnalité de Windows « timeline » ou via Cortana/Bots)
    • Microsoft Graph (sujet récurant lors de la build)

What’s New in TypeScript

Le nom de cette session est trompeur. Aucune nouveauté n’a été présentée. Anders Hejlsberg a déroulé exactement les mêmes slides qu’il utilise depuis plusieurs mois, avec exactement les mêmes démos.

Les nouveautés listées (ou vues lors des démos) sont celles des versions 2.0 à 2.2 et non pas des futures versions:

  • Non-nullable types
  • Literal types
  • Async Await ( pour de l’ES3/ES5)
  • type checking pour du JavaScript (dans VS Code)
  • Quick fixes (dans VS Code)

//Build Day 2 Keynote

La Keynote du deuxième jour de la //Build était consacré à Windows et on a eu droit à plusieurs annonces:

  • Fall Creators Update, la prochaine MAJ de Windows 10.
  • Story Remix, une app, probablement le successeur de Movie Maker (qui n’existe plus depuis Windows 10) avec une grande différence : la forte présence de l’IA !
  • Fluent Design System, le nouveau design des apps Windows 10 (anciennement project NEON)
  • Le retour des Placeholders de OneDrive. Nouveau nom => Files on Demand. La différence c’est que c’est au niveau de l’OS.
  • Cloud-powered clipboard ! Pour faire du copier coller cross-platform/devices.
  • Windows Timeline
  • XAML standard 1.0
  • La disponibilité du SDK du project Rome pour iOS
  • Visual Studio Mobile center supporte désormais UWP
  • iTunes sera prochainement disponible dans le Windows Store
  • Xamarin live player (On a assisté à une session pour en savoir plus)

//Build 2017 Day1 – Sessions

Pour cette première journée j’ai participé à plusieurs sessions:

1- Bring your desktop apps to UWP and the Windows Store using the Desktop Bridge

Dans cette session on nous a expliqué le but du bridge => Créer un pont entre l’ancien App model de Windows qui existe depuis les premières versions de celui-ci et le nouveau App model qui existe depuis 2011/2012 avec Windows 8.

Avantages:

  • Simplicité
  • Pas d’élévations de droit lors de l’installation/utilisation
  • Installation sûre (qui ne va pas aller modifier les clés de registre par exemple)
  • Offrir la possibilité d’avoir des MAJ automatiques et différentielles
  • Ouverture à la monétisation simple (via le store)
  • ….

Le fonctionnement est assez simple, il faut fournir un MSI à l’outil, celui-ci va le convertir en APPX (Si la conversion ne marche pas, c’est qu’il faut changer du code qui n’est pas supporté (ou pas encore) par le Bridge)

Le Bridge est en constante évolution avec le support de plus en plus d’API: la règle est simple, toutes les API publiques – non cassées – sont ou seront supportées.

Les dernières nouveautés sont:

  • Support du préinstall
  • Objets com
  • Déclaration de règles firewall
  • Support du wack
  • Support des applications sans MSI (un .exe avec des dll)

La version complète d’office qui sera bientôt dans le store utilise ce même Bridge !

 

2- Bot capabilities, patterns and principles

Cette session est orientée sur les patterns qu’il faut/qu’il ne faut pas utiliser pour créer un bot, exemple :

  • A NE PAS FAIRE => un bot avec un seul dialog (1 question) qui utilise 100 LUIS intents (choses que le bot peut faire) avec 100 différents énoncés == 10000 diférentes choses que l’utilisateur peut dire (ET n possibilités non prévues)
  • A Faire => Guider l’utilisateur, avec des questions précises, avec une UI (questions avec des boutons de réponses)

3- Cortana skills development: Get started

Super nouveauté qui ouvre énormément de  possibilités . Malheureusement inutile en France pour l’instant, Cortana skills n’est disponible qu’aux USA et on a pas d’informations d’infos sur la date de disponibilité dans les autres pays.

Cortana skills permet de déployer des skills (l’équivalent d’un bot) directement dans Cortana (PC, téléphone ou autre device qui supporte Cortana)

Un skill c’est une « unité d’intelligence conversationnelle » qui aide les utilisateurs via un service, ou autrement un Bot qui utilise le channel Cortana (et donc l’UI de cortana) pour interagir et fournir de l’information à un utilisateur.

L’authentification avec un compte d’une organisation est possible, la récupération des données de l’utilisateur aussi (par le service/bot)

On a eu droit à deux démos :

  • Commande d’une pizza Domino’s (sans application installée sur le PC)
  • Recherche d’un collègue pour faire du code review (le bot va chercher de l’information avec Microsoft Graph => scénario avec l’authentification)

Ressources dispo ici

4- Snapshot debugging and profiling in Microsoft Azure: Next generation diagnostics for your in-production cloud apps 

Super session qui montre les futures fonctionnalités de Visual Studio/Azure (qui seront complètement ouverts en preview à la fin de l’été).

  • Snapshots

Cette nouvelle fonctionnalité d’Application Insights permet de prendre un snapshot de l’application en prod quand une exception se déclenche via la télémétrie.

On peut aussi via Visual Studio Enterprise avoir des snappoints ( l’équivalent d’un point d’arrêt mais pour faire un snapshot et non pas arrêter l’exécution du code) et des logpoints (qui nous permettent d’insérer des logs sans redéployer l’application ni écrire du code !)

Les snapshots sont téléchargeable et peuvent être rejoués dans Visual studio.

  • Application Insight Profiler

Outil pour analyser et améliorer les applications déployés dans Azure pour plus détails voir https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/app-insights-app-map-and-profiler/

//Build 2017 – .NET Core / Standard / ASP.NET Core 2 / Cognitive Services

For this first day at Build, I attended several sessions revolving around .NET Core and the Cognitive Services running on Azure.

Three Runtimes, one standard… .NET Standard: All in Visual Studio 2017
Scott Hanselman, Scott Hunter

This session was more about a global overview of all the major frameworks available in Visual Studio than an in-depth talk on .NET Standard.

We were reminded that Microsoft recently put reference resources for Architecture in .NET on https://dot.net/architecture

To start, the Scotts explained us what are the available .NET Platforms (.NET FX, .NET Core, Mono) and how .NET Standard helps for easier code sharing across platforms.
One sentence that I found particularly relevant for describing .NET Standard is « .NET Standard is a contract that .NET Platforms must comply to »

Nothing was announced for the availability of .NET Standard 2.0 (that is currently in preview) but as said during the Keynote, .NET Core 2.0 and ASP.NET Core 2.0 are available today as preview also.

Microsoft estimates that currently 70% of the NuGet Packages are .NET Standard 2.0 compliant due to the large new API surface covered by this new version of .NET Standard.
Those packages don’t need to be recompiled to be used on any platforms!
The other 30% are mostly framework-specific like WPF libs or ASP.NET libs, so they won’t ever be .NET Standard compliant.

When VS2017 was first introduced, it came with a Live Unit Testing feature that were only usable with .NET FX projects.
It was announced that the upcoming VS2017 Update 3 (currently in preview) will add this feature to .NET Core projects!
This update will also come with support for C# 7.1.

After that we were given a brief tour of Visual Studio for Mac and how it come closer and closer to the classic Visual Studio: same tooling, same project templates, and so on.

A conference named « .NET Conf » will take place in September 2017 for 3 days and will cover any kind of subject about .NET.

Introducing ASP.NET Core 2.0
Daniel Roth, Maria Naggaga Nakanwagi, Scott Hanselman

This session was about the differences and new features introduced by ASP.NET Core 2.0 preview compared to ASP.NET Core 1.1.
I recommend that you watch the replay as there was a lot of technical goodness that I can’t really transcribe here.

If you want to develop ASP.NET Core 2.0 apps, you will need VS2017.3 currently in preview.
Microsoft says that ASP.NET Core 2.0 is 25% faster than 1.1.

The first thing that we saw was the dotnet cli and how easy and quick it is to bootstrap an ASP.NET Core app without ever going into Visual Studio.
It can be resumed by those two commands : dotnet new, dotnet run.
The first one creates a sample ASP.NET Core project and the second one compiles and runs it.

« dotnet new » will bootstrap an ASP.NET Core project based on the version of the dotnet tooling.
This version can be set by a « global.json » file placed either in your user folder (to globally define the dotnet tooling version) or per folder.
That way you can have dotnet 1.1 running inside a folder, and dotnet 2.0 running inside another one.

One great thing that was announced is Microsoft resolved several shortcomings of the new « all NuGet packages » strategy.
.NET Core introduced a lot of small packages especially for ASP.NET Core.
For example, you had one packages for servicing Static Files, one for MVC, one for Configuration, and so on.
This resulted in a lot of packages to download on our machines and significantly large packages to publish in production (every dlls that were used were uploaded along our web app)

Those shortcomings were resolved by a single new NuGet package named « Microsoft.AspNetCore.All », this package includes all the small packages used almost all the time like MVC.
And to avoid downloading gigabytes of packages, this « Microsoft.AspNetCore.All » is already included in the dotnet tooling version 2.0.
That means that when publishing our web app, we only need to deploy our own dll, resulting in way smaller package.

ASP.NET Core 2.0 introduces a new startup pattern.
DI configuration is not done in the Startup.cs file anymore, but in the Program.cs file.

ASP.NET Core 2.0 also introduces a new version of Web Pages.
We can now create Razor pages (cshtml) that don’t need to be backed by a controller.
For that, just create a folder named « Pages » and create cshtml files inside it.

Those cshtml files need to have the « @page » tag defined inside them to be treated as Pages.

Then if you call the url « http://localhost/mypage &raquo;, it will resolve to the /Pages/mypage.cshtml. No need for a controller that would only return a view.

More complex scenario are enabled by defining inlined « PageModel » which is a class that represents the « @page » tag.
You can then define behaviors for GET,PUT,POST,etc. verbs and also read parameters passed by url.
Like for this url « http://localhost/mypage/5 &raquo;, you can define the following @page « {id: int} ».
The PageModel instance of the page will then have access to the id passed by the url.

It is no more necessary to add the Application Insights package when creating ASP.NET Core apps.
When deploying to Azure, Azure will recognize the type of application and will propose to automatically inject Application Insights.
This also enables the new « Snap points » feature for debugging live production apps directly from Visual Studio.

Using Microsoft Cognitive Services to bring the power of speech recognition to your apps
Ivo Santos, Khuram Shahid, Panos Periorellis

This session talked about the speech recognition services available in Cognitive Services, especially TTS/STT, Custom Speech Service and Speaker Recognition.

Speech API is rather classic and enables Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text scenario.
Using it is simple:

Custom Speech Services is interesting as it allows to finely customized speech recognition based on our business requirements.
An example that was given is a kiosk in an airport where customers would ask for the next flight to a city in a noisy environment (announcements, chattering, etc)
Custom Speech Services offers a portal where we can train the speech recognition AI with sample acoustic data, and we can also upload vocabularies applied to our business.

Using Custom Speech Services in code is exactly the same as Speech API, you just need to specify an url given by the portal that represent your trained AI.

Lastly we were demoed the new Speaker Recognition API that recognizes who speak.
This is particularly promising as it is an on-the-fly trained AI which differentiates talking people at first, and then is capable of recognizing the same person throughout the conversation.
The demo was a bot running a trivia game, and which was attributing points to the person answering just by recognizing who talked. But it didn’t really worked.

//Build 2017 Day1

Cette année la build est de retour à la « maison » à Seattle. Avec @timothelariviere nous couveront les trois jours de la conférence.

Contrairement aux anciennes version de la //Build, cette année la première journée est consacrée à l’IA et Azure

Les annonces de la Keynote:

  • Quelques chiffres:
    • 500 millions de devices sous Windows 10 !
    • 100 millions d’utilisateurs actifs office 365
    • 12 millions d’organisations dans l’Azure Active Directory
    • 90% des TOP 500 entreprises utilisent le Cloud de Microsoft
  • Microsoft passe du Mobile First Cloud First au Intelligent Cloud/Intelligent Edge
  • Azure Iot Edge (fonctionne sur Windows/linux et les petits devices)
  • Plusieurs démos qui démontrent l’utilisation de l’IA : Workplace safety (analyse en temps réel de flux vidéos pour détecter les risques sur un chantier) , Intelligent meetings, Cortana …
  • Azure :
    • Cloud shell : CLI disponible directement dans la version Web (et app) d’azure, sans rien installé !
    • Azure mobile App dispo sous iOS et Android (la version UWP arrive bientôt)
    • Debug de la prod avec des snapshot (super feature)
    • MySQL et PostgresSQL as a service (grosse annonce)
    • Azure Cosmos DB
    • Azure Stack (l’extension d’azure pour avoir un « Azure en local »)
  • Visual Studio 2017 for mac passe en GA avec .Net Core 2.0 en preview !
  • Support des Azure Functions et des logic Apps dans VS 2017
  • Cognitive Services : 4 nouveaux services : Bing custom search, custom Vision Service, Custom Decision Service et Video indexer
  • Bots : Trois nouveaux canaux : Cortana Skills, Skype for Business (ENFIN !) et Bing.
  • AI translation for PowerPoint : plugin de traduction en live d’une présentation PowerPoint

Et pour finir, je vous laisse admirer cette vidéo =>

//Build 2017 – AI Immersion Workshop

Ahead of the three days of the Build, Microsoft organized a few whole day sessions.
I attended one of them : the « AI Immersion Workshop » session

As the title gives in, it was focused on AI running on Azure.

It started with a keynote presenting all the available services for AI and Machine Learning on Azure.
To begin, we were presented the Cognitive Services (face recognition, image description, and so on).
You can find more on this here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/cognitive-services/
The source code of a sample application using Cognitive Services can be found here: https://github.com/Microsoft/Cognitive-Samples-IntelligentKiosk

After that, the keynote focused on machine learning and image recognition.
A sample app on GitHub (https://github.com/Azure/Embarrassingly-Parallel-Image-Classification) shows how to use machine learning to analyze aerial images and determine what kind of terrain it is.

There was also a few customer stories about machine learning : lung cancer detection and electric pole inspection by drones.

We were reminded that SQL Server 2017 was available for a few weeks now, and that it supports AI stored procedures written in R or Python.
This is especially interesting as it is a best practice in AI/Machine Learning to put the computation logic close to the data.

After this keynote, there were a handful of workshops.
I chose to attend « Building intelligent SaaS applications »

In this workshop, we deployed a multitenant ASP.NET website that sell venue tickets, and we configured machine learning for it to answer questions like :

  • What venues are the least performing?
  • Will my future venue sellout if placed in Seattle?
  • How much a discount should I give for my venue to sellout?
  • Is there customers that go to multiple venues in a given area?

Everything we did in that workshop can be found on GitHub : https://github.com/Microsoft/WingtipSaaS