It’s extremely important when working with Azure to keep up to date with new features. Today I’ll share with you how I have been doing this during the past few years.
First of all, you need to define what’s important for you. You cannot track all the new features for every service (more than 600). For example, I try to be aware of recently released features for Azure Data Services like Azure Synapse Analytics and Azure Data Factory.
This post focuses on 3 main options where Microsoft directly provides information. I understand that there are many other community-maintained blogs (like this one), but today I’ll share information provided by official Microsoft channels.
- Why keep up to date?
- Azure Blogs
- Azure Ideas (feedback)
- Channel 9 and Azure YouTube Channels
Why keep up to date?
To begin, there are a few key reasons to keep up to date with technology:
- Awareness – be prepared. Do you prefer your competitors to be ahead of the game? This applies at both the individual and organizational level. You want to be aware of what the latest features are on the market. Then, take the lead and innovate.
- A new feature could decrease the implementation and ongoing costs of new or existing solutions. This includes security considerations.
- A new feature could help you solve an existing or upcoming business problem.
- It allows your Team to be aware of the same features by subscribing to RSS feeds directly with Teams (or your preferred communication tool)
How to stay up to date
I highly suggest using RSS feeds and subscriptions to receive updates directly in your inbox or Teams to save time.
This link is a true treasure trove. Most feature updates (if not all) are available at the following URL.
- Use the RSS feed.
- Filter by specific topics and technologies.
First, connect the RSS feed to Teams:
Then, select the RSS connector:
For the topics that you want to track, copy the URL.
Save the connection.
Done! Now you’ll receive updates in the Teams project. Any member can see the updates.
You can add multiple RSS feeds, but remember to keep it specific.
Azure Ideas (feedback)
Did you know that you can ask for new features? Submit your ideas at:
This portal helps you understand some of the items that different product teams are developing.
Why do I really like this portal?
You can easily learn about some of the limitations of the products because there are features that are simply not available yet.
How can you be notified about new features? Vote for them and get updates when the status of the feature is changed.
Channel 9 and Azure YouTube Channels
If you are looking for something more visual or to listen to while working, check Channel 9 or YouTube channels. Use the RSS feeds to send communications to Microsoft Teams.
Subscribe to official Azure YouTube Channels that are of your interest.
I like Microsoft Mechanics a lot: https://www.youtube.com/user/OfficeGarageSeries
There are many other ways to keep up to date, for example:
- Attend Microsoft Events like Microsoft Ignite or Microsoft Business Applications Summit – A lot of important announcements are always released. These announcements are immediately available on blogs as well. Track these blogs to say informed.
- The Microsoft documentation uses GitHub. Track updates here: https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/azure-docs/tree/master/articles
- Follow LinkedIn or Twitter accounts from Microsoft
- For Power Apps:
- For Power Automate:
- For Power Agents:
- For Microsoft Teams:
- Some services have an embedded notification experience, for example, Azure Synapse Analytics and Azure Data Factory.
In summary, you’ve learned that there are many ways to stay informed and take the lead. There are many different ways to do this, so choose the ones that work best for you.
Which other channels am I missing? Leave a comment below.