[This article was contributed by the SQL Azure team.]
A Customer Spotlight Press Release today reminded us that we’ve reached the one year anniversary of the Windows Azure platform. Given all the exciting developments and progress we have made over the last year, it is easy to forget that it’s been only a year since SQL Azure was first available as a paid service! For us, of course, the most interesting part of this journey has been watching the innovative ways in which our customers use SQL Azure.
In January alone, we blogged about an energy management software startup which was using the cloud to reach new markets and an online marketing services company which was leveraging SQL Azure and the cloud for massive scale.
Today’s press release, sheds light on a range of other interesting scenarios: including an app created by T-Mobile USA in just six weeks, for families to schedule and co-ordinate activities such as movie nights and Xerox’s innovative cloud based mobile printing solution using SQL Azure and Windows Azure.
I’d like to call out the Xerox solution in particular. In 2010, Xerox introduced, Xerox Mobile Print, a solution which allows its workers to send documents to any printer in the company from a handheld device such as their smartphone. Now, when employees are traveling on business, they can do things like quickly print a presentation for tomorrow’s client meeting without having to spend countless hours at a local hotel business center.
Xerox used SQL Azure to store all relational data including information related to user accounts, jobs, and devices as well as print job metadata. By deploying Xerox Cloud Print on SQL Azure, Xerox was able to get the solution to market in just four months. Eugene Shustef, Chief Engineer, Global Document Outsourcing, at Xerox mentions that his developers saw no difference between SQL Azure and SQL Server and the familiarity offered by the platform was critical in getting to market quickly and gaining a global presence overnight. Read more about Eugene’s interview and the associated case study here.