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Mix ’09 Update #2

[This article was contributed by the SQL Azure team.]Hello again from MIX ’09!  Nigel Ellis just finished up the MIX session on SDS: What’s New in Microsoft SQL Data Services (MIX09-T06F).&…

[This article was contributed by the SQL Azure team.]

Hello again from MIX ’09! 

Nigel Ellis just finished up the MIX session on SDS: What’s New in Microsoft SQL Data Services (MIX09-T06F).  (Edit: The talk is available for online viewing from here).

Attendance was surprisingly good for 9am on Friday in Las Vegas.  As expected Nigel did an awesome job on the talk and the overall messages and drill down information seemed to resonate well with the audience.  In particular, Nigel did a really nice demo on the compatibility SDS v1 will have with on-premise SQL and how that will make porting existing applications to a cloud environment really easy.  A very strong message particularly in conjunction with the ability to run web and worker processes in Windows Azure Compute.  Together, these capabilities really provide a great foundation for delivering next generation services based applications.

One surprise was that the message around support for PHP, Ruby, Java and other breadth development environments – through the support in Windows Azure for fastCGI and our support for existing SQL client libraries like the SQL PHP client library – didn’t seem to resonate as much with the MIX audience.  I think it will take some time for folks to digest some of the additional nuances of our overall direction so that may be part of the reason.  Also, even at MIX we may still be initially “self selecting” to an audience that is broader than the traditional core web developer. 

Lots of follow up interest and good questions at the end, including questions on:

  • Load balancing and flexible capacity – esp. for handling burst periods for applications
  • Data sync and how we will leverage the Microsoft Sync Framework technology
  • How to get started, esp. when doing local development in conjunction with Windows Azure compute
  • Support in v1 for other capabilities – including full-text indexing and spatial
  • Integration and compatibility with other key parts of the data platform – Reporting Services, Integration Services, etc.
    • This message really seems to resonate broadly.  There is lots of value we’re offering here even in v1 with SDS being a well integrated part of the overall SQL Data Platform
  • Request for additional guidance and patterns and practices for scale-out database applications.  Nigel did a good job of leveraging this interest to drill down on our support for SaaS
  • ISVs, both in v1 and beyond.
  • Geo-location support
  • And a request to make the slides available 🙂

All in all, a great conference.  We really appreciate all the interest and MIX was just a fantastic opportunity to meet with and get additional feedback from many of you who are investing in the service.  It will be quite a fun ride as we drive toward our v1 delivery.