News about SQL Data Services has been thin on the ground since the Professional Developer’s Conference (PDC) in October 2008. The official SDS blog has been dormant since 27th October (up until then it had been a very active blog) and the same is largely true of blogs from various SDS team members. It points to there being some sweeping changes underway and an article I just read on The Register adds fuel to that fire:
'Full' SQL Server planned for Microsoft's Azure cloud
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.
According to [General manager developer and platform evangelism] Mark 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. “If you go [to SDS] 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.
Make of that what you will. It seems clear that Microsoft will be providing a full-on hosted version of SQL Server that we know and love and therefore I assume they will also offer hosted operating system images as well (a la Amazon EC2). This makes sense; the Azure announcements so far have been aimed at providing massively scalable web architectures but let’s be honest, how many Facebooks are there out there wanting to take advantage of such an infrastructure? Not many is the answer! Microsoft have obviously woken up to what their bread-and-butter enterprise customers want and are going to provide it.
I await an announcement with interest; hopefully there’ll be one at MIX09 next month.
With rather uncanny timing the SDS team have today posted an update to their blog a few hours after I first published this and nearly four months after their last update:
Just wanted to drop a quick note. People are starting to question what’s going on in the SDS world and why we have been so silent. Well, to be honest, we have been so silent because the entire team has been heads down adding some new exciting features that customers have been demanding. Last year at Mix we told the world about SDS. This time around we will be unveiling some new features that are going to knock your socks off. So, that’s it for now. Just wanted to let everyone the team is alive and well and super excited for the road ahead. We are 3 weeks away from Mix so hang on just a little bit longer. Trust me, it’s worth it
“Knock our socks off”. That is setting expectations rather high. I was hoping for full text search and the ability to define schema to be implemented but David’s posting here has me thirsting for even more!