Microsoft has brought its Microsoft Azure Search and Azure Backup services to Canada. The company announced the release today, but says the deployment is exclusively for the Canada Central region. This area of the country covers the two most populated provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
Azure Search is Microsoft search-as-a-service solution for cloud. It allows customers to add search to their applications using REST API or .NET SDK. Microsoft handles the server and infrastructure management, meaning developers don't need to worry about understanding search. The service comes with the following features.
“Powerful queries can be formulated using the simple query syntax, which offers logical operators, phrase search operators, suffix operators, precedence operators. Additionally, the Lucene query syntax can enable fuzzy search, proximity search, term boosting, and regular expressions. Azure Search also supports custom lexical analyzers to allow your application to handle complex search queries using phonetic matching and regular expressions.
Language support is included for 56 different languages. Using both Lucene analyzers and Microsoft analyzers (refined by years of natural language processing in Office and Bing), Azure Search can analyze text in your application's search box to intelligently handle language-specific linguistics including verb tenses, gender, irregular plural nouns (e.g. ‘mouse' vs. ‘mice'), word de-compounding, word-breaking (for languages with no spaces), and more.
Search suggestions can be enabled for autocompleted search bars and type-ahead queries. Actual documents in your index are suggested as users enter partial search input.
Hit highlighting allows users to see the snippet of text in each result that contains the matches for their query. You can pick and choose which fields return highlighted snippets.
Faceted navigation is easily added to your search results page with Azure Search. Using just a single query parameter, Azure Search will return all the necessary information to construct a faceted search experience in your app's UI to allow your users to drill-down and filter search results (e.g. filter catalog items by price-range or brand).
Geo-spatial support allows you to intelligently process, filter, and display geographic locations. Azure Search enables your users to explore data based on the proximity of a search result to a specified location or based on a specific geographic region. This video explains how it works: Channel 9: Azure Search and Geospatial data.
Filters can be used to easily incorporate faceted navigation into your application's UI, enhance query formulation, and filter based on user- or developer-specified criteria. Create powerful filters using the OData syntax.”
Microsoft Azure LaaS Backup
Azure Backup provides a backup-as-a-service solution for customers to protect their on-premises data with cloud tools. Microsoft says it is an affordable way to ensure customers keep data protected. It can backup data the enterprise data center, in remote and branch offices or in the public cloud.
The service is integrated with Azure Site Recovery in the portal and is easy to maintain, according to Microsoft.