Sunday, March 22, 2009

What's New in Microsoft SQL Data Services

Nigel Ellis one of the architects on the SDS team gave a very intressting talk at Mix09 which you can view here:

What's New in Microsoft SQL Data Services - MIX Videos

It's a talk that really doesn't present any really new fantastic technologies and that's the beuty of it all. The key take away from the session is that it most likely will just work provided your using the basic relational functionality of SQL Server.

You can expect to get your hands on a public CTP around July 09.

Some things that I found very intressting was the talk about data partioning that would let us use distributed queries in a very easy way. Also coupled with the data syncronization features (based on the sync framework) that will enable tight integration with onpremise instances of SQL Server, we can expect to actually start pushing out parts of our applications in cloud bursting scenarios (this was a headache for me prio this release it was simply not worth the effort on a exsisting application).

So what is not in v1:

Distributed Transaction
Distributed Queries
Hosted CLR
Spatial Data
Service Broker
Business Intelligence
Reference Data

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sql Data Services - A real cinderella story!

About 2 weeks ago David Robinson of the Sql Data Services team announce that they where planning to announce some really mind blowing changes to SDS at MIX09.

Earlier this week (I've been a little slow on my blog reading) he announce what's comming and sure enough:

Stored Procedures?...Check
Visual Studio Compatibility?...Check
ADO.Net Compatibility?...Check
ODBC Compatibility?...Check
Personally I have been spending some time trying to figure out how to best model and implementing a solution ontop och both SDS as well as Azure Storage. So I'm naturally curious about whats going to happen with the ACE model (which in the first place felt some what strange since the Azure storage platform offers similar support, not to mention that it is rather limiting compare to a traditional relational model) and sure enough it is a deadend in SDS (personally I think this is very good that Microsoft is drawing a clear line and positioning the two different technogies like this, it will be a major improvement for the Azure platform making it an even stronger platform for the cloud):
What about the ACE (Authority, Container, Entity) data model and developer experience? Since Windows Azure storage has a similar data model (property bag) and developer experience, we will stop supporting the current ACE Model sometime in the future.
So when will we get our hands on this goodiebag? Well acording to the SDS team the CTP will be around summertime 2009. So in the meantime go ahead an read the original posts to get more details on this:

The no spin details on the new SDS features
First round of Questions and Answers

Minority Report is coming to a neighbourhood near you!

Yesterday I watch a presentation from TED 2009 where Pattie Maes from MIT Media Lab's new Fluid Interfaces Group demos a new technology that see called Sixth Sense (there are seems to come alot of intressting innovations from the Fluid Interfaces Group, I recently blogged about another new technology called Siftables which also came out of this lab).

It basically comes down to a device that is pieced together from equipment about $300 consisting of a projector and some mirrors hooked up to your cellphone that enabled you you to project and interact with information on any surface (just like Tom Cruise in Minority Report altough still abit rough around the edges), this opens up alot of oppertunities but instead of reading my ramblings take 15 minutes out of your schedule and whats the demo:

Pattie Maes demos the Sixth Sense | Video on

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Finally a proper book about MSBuild and Team Build

I just finnished reading Inside the Microsoft® Build Engine: Using MSBuild and Team Foundation Build and even though I know of several posting about this book I figure they could do with some more praise :)

I approached this book with and expectation that I already knew my fair share about the build process in Team System but was pleasantly suprised that there where a few nuggets that I was unaware of so it paid of to read it after all. Otherwise I must say that the book is well structured and is down to earth with a lot of practical examples from real world scenarios. I truely wish that I would have had access to this book back in 2005 when I started out with build automation in Team System.

The book is a must read for anyone considering working with build automation using Team System (atleast until VSTS 2010 comes out and changes it again). Also if you want to truely understand MSBuild and how your projects are built by Visual Studio (although you will come along way when working with Visual Studio without reading one single row of MSBuild script).

Personally I will keep my copy on my desk as a reference and flip through it when working with the nitty gritties of the build scripts.

Monday, March 2, 2009

FathomDB a relational database in the cloud

I've been playing around with how to store your data in a cloudbased environment, mainly I've been looking at the various offerings from Microsoft (Azure Storage & SQL Data Services).

Even though I like the concept of being able of putting my data in the cloud, I find the current data model available some what limiting when compared to a regular relational database.

Well the other day I stumbled upon a new product called FathomDB, which comes to the rescue with a DaaS (Database-as-a-Service) offering. Initially they offer MySQL running on Amazons EC2 platform but it sounds as they will offer more backend platforms and possibly more database engines in the future.

I'm currently waiting for my beta account and will probably blog more about my experiences with FathomDB in the future.

It's also worth noting if your intressted in DaaS that there is alot of buzz about Microsoft going to offer SQL Server as a DaaS also. At the very least we can expect some intresting news in mid march when Mix09 takes place.