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DataStax teams up with Microsoft to simplify AI development
Wed, 27th Mar 2024

DataStax has announced a significant collaboration with Microsoft Semantic Kernel, designed to simplify the development process of enterprise-level retrieval-augmented generation (RAG) applications and AI agents. The new move brings DataStax's Astra DB into integration with Microsoft's suite of products and Microsoft Semantic Kernel's open-source software development kit (SDK). This progress is set to make it easier for developers to leverage their existing applications into the AI spectrum.

With an exponentially increasing demand for power-packed RAG applications and advanced AI agents, developers have long sought more streamlined solutions. The recent integration of Astra DB, a prominent vector database, with Microsoft's Semantic Kernel, comes as an effective solution. Developers skilled in C#, Python, or full-stack applications can now develop RAG applications and AI agents that make optimal use of their enterprise data. This would be accomplished by employing the unique features of Semantic Kernel that facilitate managing contextual conversations, multi-step functions, and connectivity with the Microsoft AI ecosystem.

Semantic Kernel is a highly adaptable open-source SDK that enables developers to construct agents capable of invoking existing codes and coordinating with orchestral models such as Open AI, Azure OpenAI, Github CoPilot, and Hugging Face. Integrating Semantic Kernel's prominent features with Astra DB brings into application the added advantage of a vector database that delivers vector and structured data with high relevancy, ultra-low latency, and on a global scale to AI applications and agents that are built leveraging Semantic Kernel.

Matthew Bolaos, Group Program Manager for Semantic Kernel at Microsoft, stated, “It’s amazing to see the work of DataStax and Astra DB and the collaboration with Microsoft’s Semantic Kernel to build AI agents and RAG applications with ease." He also stressed how this integration brings a new perspective to developing AI applications, with the ability to handle various generative AI use cases, from tailored customer support to suggestive product recommendations.

On this collaboration, Ed Anuff, CPO of DataStax, added, “Out-of-the-box RAG solutions are in high demand and are a pivotal differentiator for enterprises building GenAI applications because of the complexities and many obstacles that developers face. It's not just about simplifying development; it's about fostering the creation of more intelligent, responsive, and personalised generative AI applications that have the potential to reshape entire industries.”

Enthusiasm for the groundbreaking partnership is not confined to the collaborating entities. Independent stakeholders, like healthcare company Skypoint, are equally appreciative. Tisson Mathew, CEO and founder of Skypoint stated, “The integration of Semantic Kernel into Astra DB is a game-changer for us, enhancing the way insights are generated and conveyed to our users through private AI Copilots, elevating every experience across the continuum of care.”