Update from MIX ‘09
[This article was contributed by the SQL Azure team.]
Hi! For those who I haven’t met yet, I’m Patric McElroy and I’m the GPM for the SDS team. I’ve been with the team since last summer and it has been an amazing ride so far – lots of progress, lots of learning and lots of cool stuff ahead of us. For most of my career at Microsoft, I’ve worked in the enterprise server space (BizTalk Server, SQL Server) as both a GPM and PUM.
You’ve heard of “Internet Time”? Well, apparently this blog post is on “Vegas Time” – where everything is behind schedule because you got talked into going out after the MIX Influentials Party and are subsequently way behind. Hopefully, the rest will “…stay in Vegas”.
Yesterday was a fun day at MIX ‘09. ScottGu’s keynote was amazing and although it was only a couple of minutes in amongst a 2-hour keynote, ScottGu did talk about the Azure platform announcements with the SDS announcement from last week being a key announcement. Even a week after the original announcement, ScottGu’s mention of it got a smattering of spontaneous applause during the keynote. Scott talked about our plans to support TDS/T-SQL, talked about this as part of the overall database roadmap for the SQL data platform, and emphasized that this enables access from any client library – .Net or OSS. Finally, he emphasized the value proposition for web developers of being able to develop/debug applications locally and then deploy and run them in the cloud. (The Azure platform material starts about 47:30 into the video feed for the Day 1 keynote which can be found here: http://live.visitmix.com/).
I also got pretty excited at many of the other capabilities that were highlighted during the keynote as well. In particular I think that the Windows Web App Gallery will be a great option for developers (see the 10 minutes preceding the SDS material). One thing I’ll take back to the team is to make sure we are doing everything necessary to enable these apps to be built on and leverage SDS. The goal of the gallery is very much in line with the core value prop of SDS v1 of enabling a very friction-free provisioning experience. It would be very cool if developers had an easy way to ensure that their web apps could have the option to provision an SDS database automatically as part of their install.
One of the coolest parts of these conferences is the opportunity to talk with a lot of customers and partners. The response to our plans to accelerate delivery of true relational database capabilities as a service continues to be very positive. On Tuesday night I attended an event hosted by the D&PE group where I spoke with an ISV partner who builds LOB software for the insurance industry that they deliver as a service. Lots of fantastic feedback from someone who currently makes their living building a running services-based software. Their app currently runs on SQL Server which they host in their own datacenters. His initial comment was the most interesting. He said “This is great. This will allow me to consider how and when I can migrate my application to the Azure platform.” I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon talking with press and analysts and the reaction/feedback was the same.
Nigel’s session on SDS is tomorrow (Fri) morning so keep an eye out for the video feed on the above link.