Feeds

'Full' SQL Server planned for Microsoft's Azure cloud

Partners demand it

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

MSDN Developer Conference Microsoft plans to make a full version of its popular SQL Server database available in the cloud in response to pressure from partners.

The company told The Reg it's working to add as many features as possible from SQL Server to its fledgling Azure Services Platform cloud as quickly as possible, following feedback.

General manager developer and platform evangelism Mark Hindsbro said Microsoft hoped to complete this work with the first release of Azure, currently available as a Community Technology Preview (CTP). But he added that some features might be rolled into subsequent updates to Azure. Microsoft has not yet given a date for the first version of Azure, which was released as a CTP last October.

"We are still getting feedback from ISVs for specific development scenarios they want. Based on feedback we will prioritize features and get that out first," he said.

"The aim is to get that in the same ship cycle of the overall Azure platform but it might be that some of it lags a little big and comes short there after."

Hindsbro added: "One of the beauties of having an online platform is you can keep running it out."

The evangelist was speaking at the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Conference in San Francisco, California, a week after Microsoft had updated 500 of its top software partners on roadmaps for Azure, Internet Explorer 8, and Windows 7.

According to Hindsbro, partners want a full SQL Server database in the cloud. The current SQL Data Services (SDS), which became available last March, provides a lightweight and limited set of features. Prior to SDS, Microsoft's database service was called SQL Server Data Services.

"If you go there now you will find more rudimentary database experiences exposed. Not a lot of these apps would be interesting without a full database in the cloud, and that is coming," Hindsbro said.

He did not say what SQL Server features Microsoft would add to Azure, other than to say it'll include greater relational functionality.

Microsoft in a statement also did not provide specifics, but said it's "evolving SDS capabilities to provide customers with the ability to leverage a traditional RDBMS data model in a cloud-based environment. Developers will be able to use existing programming interfaces and apply existing investments in development, training, and tools to build their applications."

The pre-beta SDS restricts what users can do in a number of ways that make it hard to set up and manage and that are limit its usefulness in large deployments.

This is due in part to the fact that the service is pre-release and Microsoft is still testing both the technology and the potential market. It's also likely due to the fact that Microsoft conceived SDS as a lightweight database service targeting web developers instead of something for use in an enterprise cloud.

According to Hindsbro, though, there's growing interest in Azure from enterprise customers.

SDS features limited storage capacity. Flexible and BLOB entities can only run to 2Mb and 100Mb in size respectively, while you can only have 1,000 containers in an authority - which Microsoft defines as equivalent to a single SQL Server instance.

From a programming perspective, you can't update metadata in BLOBs. You have to delete the entire BLOB and start again. You can't delete authorities, and although Microsoft has said SDS supports both REST and SOAP, you actually need a REST interface to handle BLOB entities. Entities list the properties of a container, or database.

Also there's no support for capital letters in naming of containers - something that not only limits creativity at set up but can limit the effectiveness of searches. If you type a capital letter during a search, this can give you an error 404 message. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.