I had stumbled upon this site before, however, on my long journey through the interwebs I must have forgotten or lost it. The site I’m referring to is the Azure Preview Features site which isn’t directly accessible through the main Azure site top or bottom menu’s. So as this is a lucky find, I thought I’d share.
(Note: If you Google Azure preview; the site is the first result that comes up. Face palm?)
The Azure Feature Preview site is a list of current publicly accessible preview features and functionality. Moreover, Microsoft explain that the preview features in Azure are as follows:
Being an Azure Insider, part of the private Yammer community, I’ve got access to information about up and coming features via Kloud’s participation and membership (thanks awesome team). Having private and tightly controlled, NDA enforced, access to new and cool (potentially cool) features is all well and good for those who are members and actively willing to donate their time and willingness to help in developing these products, but, once a feature is well enough to test: how is that accessible to others?
The answer is by reading new sites or tech blogs and finding the information as its usually released as soon as its out of NDA through registrations via the Azure feature preview site once features become publicly available. Now that you know the URL, you can keep an eye out for up and coming features and functionality in Azure and get a head start before most others.
While access to features and functionality is great, there are problems that can be run into. Generally speaking, there isn’t any SLA on these services. Production deployments are a big no-no. It’s not all doom and gloom though as when a service is at a public preview stage: a lot of the major and service crippling bugs have been resolved; allowing for a good test and preparation in functionality before deploying in production once a service is generally available (GA).
I highly recommend that anyone and everyone (interested in Azure) take up using preview features. The feedback to Microsoft is not only beneficial to everyone else who’ll end up using the service, but again you’ll have the chance to test and put into dev services ahead of everyone else.