As I mentioned in my previous post the Microsoft Sync Framework and the SQL Services guys has teamed for some cool projects for the cloud.
Codename "Huron" which is one of them seems to be the answer to one of my intial questions I've been thinking about, namely the ability to maintain an application on-premise and using the Azure Platform for extending this application to handle peak loads or simply slicing of parts to run in the cloud.
As you can see in the picture "Huron" sits in the cloud acting like a master data hub allowing us to easliy build speaking to the local sync providers that either ships with the project. Currently they have build one for Access and SQL Server Compact but this will be extended to include SQL Server as well (as you can see in the quote below).
Leverage the power of SQL Data Services and Microsoft Sync Framework to enable organizations and individual workers to build business data hubs in the cloud allowing information to be easily shared with mobile users, business partners, remote offices and enterprise data sources all while taking advantage of new services in the cloud. This combination provides a bridge, allowing on-premises and off-premises applications to work together. Using “Huron”, enable sharing of relational stores like Microsoft Office Access, SQL Express, SQL Server Compact, and SQL Server, enable B2B data sharing, and push workgroup databases to field workers and mobile users.
The driving technology behind this project is the Microsoft Sync Framework so if youe not entirely up to speed on that you could start by having a look at the following article, Introduction to the Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime.
The configuration of the syncronization process is highly flexible since you can decide which tables you want to put in the cloud and you will be able to autosync bi-directionally or put the syncronization on a scheadule.
Sadly the download like is not yet available on the project homepage, but as soon as it is I will start to take it for a spin which I would like to encourage you guys to do as well this is an important building block for allowing a smooth transition path in between on-premise and the cloud.
For more information about the "Huron" and other interesting SQL Services incubation projects be sure to keep tabs on SQL Services Labs