Microsoft has announced a new update for its Azure Log Analytics service which offers search, analytics, and insight tools.

The upgrade delivers an interactive query language and advanced analytics portal, powered by a scalable data store similar to Azure Application Insights.

According to a blog post, it is the biggest Azure Log Analytics update since its launch and the company worked with more than 60 customers to get feedback and deliver the update.

The new query language provides search, query time field extractions, calculated fields, joins and unions, as well as date time operators, string operators and native JSON support. The language supports let statements, lambda expressions and comments in queries.

It also offers flexible machine learning constructs and time series functions to enable deeper insights. The time series functions, for example, help customers to analyse CPU performance from hundreds of computers and select the top N based on usage spikes.

Commenting on the new upgrade, Cameron Fuller of Catapult Systems said: ‘With the new query language, we can carve up Log Analytics data in any way we need to visualize it. Key benefits include the ability to use unions, joins, functions and variables. We have been able to create queries which would not have been possible with the original query language.’

Additionally, the new advanced analytics portal aims to help customers with writing interactive ad hoc queries for troubleshooting, diagnostics, analysing trends and creating visualisations. It also provides multi-line editing features with context-aware syntax highlighting and built-in visualisations.

The new update also allows users to save and share queries and export data to Excel.

According to Microsoft, with the new analytics portal, customers can create quick visualisations in a few clicks and post the visualisation to a shared Azure Dashboard – creating of a ‘single pane of glass’ across different workspaces.

The company added that the Azure Log Analytics upgrade also offers much-improved integration with Power BI Desktop.