Microsoft releases new time series data developer tools for Azure
Photo Credit: Reuters

Microsoft has released new time series insights (TSI) tools for its Azure cloud computing platform that aim to make life easier for developers.

Azure Time Series Insights is a fully-managed analytics, storage, and visualisation service for managing IoT-scale time-series data in the cloud.

The tools feature an Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template, Application Programming Interface (API) code samples, and easy-to-follow documentation for developers.

"TSI’s developer tools will shorten the time it takes to get started developing," Andrew Shannon, product manager at Azure Time Series Insights Engineering division, said in a blog post. "Using these developer tools, customers can more easily embed TSI’s platform into custom applications to power charts/graphs, compare data from different points in time, and dynamically explore trends and correlations in their data."

Shannon said TSI takes the burden of time series data management - which often involves large volumes - away from organisations.

"TSI’s platform capabilities enable developers to build applications that provide valuable insights to their customers," he explained.

According to Shannon, time series data at IoT scale can lead to high latency and long rendering times when querying traditional databases. TSI, however, can answer data queries on the fly in an automated fashion from huge databases.

Microsoft has already tested the tools with US furniture maker Steelcase, which has just released its Workplace Advisor - a platform that uses time series data to help their customers measure and improve the effectiveness of the workplace in near real-time.

“We are constantly working to help our customers reimagine how they can empower their workforce to work more efficiently in their workplaces," Scott King, Software developer at Steelcase, said. "To do this well, we needed a place to capture and store large volumes of time series data, make calculations with that data on the fly in real-time, and aggregate that data, so it’s easier to view and explore in our application.”

In terms of the capibilities of ARM, the resource manager template automates managing environments, access policies, event sources and reference data.

"An ARM template is a JSON file that defines the infrastructure and configuration of resources in a resource group," Microsoft's Shannon said. "To perform operations on Azure TSI resources, you send HTTPS requests containing supported parameters with the ARM template. You can also use the PowerShell command line to pass these Azure resources parameters."

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