The next release of the Azure Sphere SDK will bring some significant enhancements in response to some great feedback we’ve heard from the community. If you already use Azure Sphere, you'll need to take some steps to adapt. Here’s what’s changing:
User sign-in will become much simpler and more flexible. Access to Azure Sphere tenants will be controlled at the scope of individual accounts, not of an entire directory. When you install the new SDK, you’ll need to sign up as an Azure Sphere user—using any Microsoft personal account or work/school account—and then migrate your tenant to this new user authentication model. The azsphere CLI will guide you through this process. After migration, any other users or scripts in the tenant will no longer be able to use their existing SDK; they must install and use the new SDK, too.
Cloud loading your apps to your Azure Sphere devices will become significantly simpler. Each Azure Sphere tenant will have products, e.g. a coffee maker or dishwasher. Each product will have device groups, including default groups for “Development,” “Field Test,” and “Production.” Each device group will have a deployment: the set of apps to run on devices in that group. No other configuration will be necessary. When you install the new SDK and migrate your Azure Sphere tenant, any existing cloud configuration will be updated to this new model. After this, you’ll need to use some new azsphere CLI commands to perform further configuration. The CLI help and online documentation will assist you.
We will release an Azure Sphere SDK preview for Linux. In this preview release, it is supported on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS only; your mileage may vary on other distributions.
We will release a preview of our Visual Studio Code extension for Azure Sphere, for both Windows and Linux.
All Azure Sphere apps will be built using CMake, a cross-platform build system that you can use for all of your development: for high-level apps and real-time capable apps; for Windows and Linux; and for development in Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, or the command line. All of our sample apps and templates will move to CMake, and we will deprecate the use of Visual Studio projects (.vcxproj and msbuild) in preparation for removal of support in a subsequent SDK release. You will need to convert any existing apps to build with CMake over the coming months. Our online documentation will walk you through the process.
The SDK for Visual Studio will be optimized for Visual Studio 2019, which has much improved support for CMake as well as other enhancements. Visual Studio 2017 will no longer be supported in a subsequent SDK release, and we encourage all users to upgrade to Visual Studio 2019.
We will provide more detailed information on all these changes when this SDK is released. In the meantime, we welcome your feedback and questions. Please ask in our MSDN forum or reach out to your Microsoft representative.