Feeds

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

Partners demand it

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really
Windows NEIN skipped, tech preview due out on Wednesday
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.