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The ambitious NuoDB database has received an update that lets it deal with .NET as the company looks to tempt Windows aficionados away from SQL Server.

The 1.1 "Starling" release of NuoDB brings with it a set of Microsoft-specific updates, along with more general product and user experience improvements, the company announced on Wednesday.

NuoDB is the brainchild of relational database guru Jim Starkey and CEO Barry Morris. Its proposition is that it can scale out to deal with the needs of large, changeable pools of computing and storage capacity, while remaining programmable by people used to SQL. It fits in with a broader readoption of SQL interfaces in the database and data-probing industry, following similar moves by Google for BigQuery, Acunu for Cassandra, and Concurrent for Hadoop via Lingual.

"There's a lot of hype about how transactions and SQL get in the way of productivity, but I think the opposite is true: transactions and relations were invented to help system stability and programmer effectiveness," NuoDB chief architect Seth Proctor, tells us. "That's why so many NoSQL systems are moving towards supporting languages and models that look more and more like transactional SQL."

Since NuoDB launched in November, the company has seen "a lot of interest from the Windows world," Proctor said. At first, the company thought people who wanted to put the database into production would be dealing with Linux, but "we've been surprised by the strong response from the Win community. A lot of Windows users in the cloud environment feel underserved."

To service this community, version 1.1 comes with support for .NET with LINQ adapter, Visual Studio 2012, 64-bit Windows, and compatibility with Microsoft's Windows Azure infrastructure-as-a-service cloud.

The 1.1 version has a 20 to 50 per cent performance improvement for heavy workloads, the company said, and analytic-style queries run two to three times faster.

Aside from the Windows-specific features, 1.1 brings in a DevCenter, integration of the DevCenter into the NuoDB Web Console, and SQL Explorer integration with the Console. The company hopes that NuoDB will replace SQL Server in Azure's cloud – but then again, it would. ®

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