Category Archives: Cloud

Google Photos storage policy changes on June 1st 2021

Google account users that back up new photos and videos in High quality will have these files counted towards their free 15 GB storage limit starting June 1, 2021.  Google will provide a free tool in June 2021 that will let users find and review low-quality photos to stay within the free 15 GB storage limit.   Additional file storage can be purchased from Google One, if needed

Another recent Google Photos change is the ability to save photo attachments in a Gmail message directly to Google Photos with a new “Save to Photos” button (JPEG images only).

Oracle Database 21c and learning resources

Oracle Database 21c has been released with several new features.   This includes Blockchain tables, which is a new type of table that only allows  insert operations. Other enhancements include a new JSON data type and new SQL Function JSON_TRANSFORM.  Oracle has also updated its Database Administrator’s Guide and JSON Developer’s Guide for this database version.

More information about these new features of Oracle Database 21c at its online  documentation site.

Oracle also has a free cloud tier option as well as a free entry-level training program: Oracle Learning Explorer.

Visual Studio Codespaces – an online only development environment

Visual Studio Codespaces – formerly known as Visual Studio Online – allows you to create Visual Studio solutions entirely in the cloud across multiple devices.  This development environment is currently in public preview.

Google Drive and Gmail free storage limited to 15 GB

Google accounts start with 15 GB of total storage spread across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos.   Once this limit is exceeded, users have the option of upgrading to a Google One plan.

You may check the total amount of storage currently used for your Google account at google.com/settings/storage.   Google also provides instructions on how to free up additional storage.

Windows Sandbox allows you to run programs in isolation without a VM

Microsoft announced the upcoming release of Windows SandBox, which allows you to run untrusted programs in a new isolated temporary desktop environment without setting up a virtual machine.  Windows Sandbox builds upon Windows Containers and is currently only available as part of Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise Insider Preview Build 18305.

Azure SQL Database Managed Instances offer greater SQL Server compatibility

Microsoft has made Azure SQL Database Managed Instances available in Preview mode.  These instances offer much greater compatibility with traditional SQL Server when compared with Azure SQL databases.

A free Azure account can be created at azure.microsoft.com/free.

More documentation can be found at:

Visual Studio Extensions Marketplace

Extensions for the Microsoft Visual Studio suite of products can be found at marketplace.visualstudio.com.  Extensions add support for languages not included in Visual Studio, aid in IDE development, or perform a specific task.

Some current popular extensions are:

Extensions can be free, preview, or paid.  Paid extensions are often charged per user per month.  Preview extensions are eventually converted to paid extensions. Extensions are either written by Microsoft, third party vendors, or individual developers.

More information can be found at code.visualstudio.com/docs/extensions/overview.