March, 2011

  • Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket Blog

    Announcing New DataMarket Content!


    Today’s content announcement is a little different that our previous monthly Content Updates. As we continue to work on making the best data offers available to you through DataMarket, we are in the process of shortening the time between our content releases. Beginning today, you will see us release smaller updates on a much more frequent basis, allowing you to get your hands on the data that much sooner!

    Today’s update brings with it a couple of exciting new public and commercial offerings.

    World Life Networks


    • Microsoft Utility Rate Service - The Microsoft Utility Rate Service is a database of electric utilities and rates indexed by location within the United States, gathered from Partner Utilities and/or from publically available information.  Using this Service, developers can find electricity providers and rates when available in a given area, or area averages as provided by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

    As always, we will continue to post our blog whenever new data becomes available on DataMarket… so be sure to check the site regularly to learn the latest.

    - The DataMarket Team

  • Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket Blog

    Real World DataMarket: Interview with Ayush Yash Shrestha, Professional Services Manager at Dundas Data Visualization


    As part of the Real World DataMarket series, we talked to Ayush Yash Shrestha, the Professional Services Manager at Dundas Data Visualization, about how his company is taking advantage of DataMarket (a part of Windows Azure Marketplace) to enhance its flagship Dundas Dashboard business intelligence software.

    MSDN: Can you tell us about Dundas Data Visualization and the services you provide?
    Dundas produces data visualization and dashboard solutions that are used by some of the largest companies in the world. Dundas Dashboard is a one-stop shop for bringing in data from various systems, building business models, and finding key performance indicators (KPIs). Through a simple drag-and-drop interface, a fairly sophisticated business user—even without development experience—can turn raw data into a useful dashboard in about four steps. It’s self-service business intelligence (BI).

    MSDN: What business challenges did Dundas and its customers face before it recently began using DataMarket?
    We wanted to help our customers contextualize their internal BI data by comparing it with data from outside the enterprise. A KPI without proper context is meaningless. You can use your BI system to gather internal data and determine if you’re meeting your goals, but if you don’t have the ability to combine the data with outside information, then your goals may not be contextually sound. Traditionally, buying this information from multiple providers and using multiple data feeds with different formats has been cumbersome and expensive, with a lot of IT support requirements.

    MSDN: How does DataMarket help you address the need to cost-effectively contextualize BI data?
    We’re able to bring in reliable, trusted public domain and premium commercial data into Dashboard without a lot of development time and costs. This is possible because DataMarket takes a standardized approach, with a REST-based model for consuming services and data views that are offered in tabular form or as OData feeds. Without having a standard in place, we’d be forced to write all kinds of web services and retrieval mechanisms to get data from the right places and put it into the proper format for processing.

    MSDN: What are the biggest benefits to Dundas customers by incorporating DataMarket into Dashboard?
    Our customers just create a single DataMarket account, and they’re ready to get the specific data that they need. This will result in significant savings, especially for companies that would otherwise make several large business-to-business data purchases. Also, the data provided through DataMarket is vetted. Without a service such as DataMarket in place, there is a risk of businesses adding inaccurate data to their dashboards. With DataMarket being such a reliable source, we’re able to provide meaningful context that few other dashboard providers offer at this time. Finally, we can build new dashboards for a customer once, and they can be easily improved as the DataMarket data catalog continues to gain depth. We can integrate additional KPI context into existing dashboards with a few mouse clicks, versus the old approach of reengineering the system.

    MSDN: And what are the biggest benefits to Dundas?
    The most important are added value, competitive edge, and new business opportunities. If a customer is comparing Dundas Dashboard with a competing product that does not use DataMarket, we immediately have an edge thanks to the vast additional resources that DataMarket provides. Also, customers often expect us to offer analysis services in addition to pure data visualization, which in the past we did not have the resources to provide. With DataMarket, we’re now in a position to offer this additional level of service, which will help us expand our customer base and increase revenue.

    Read the full case study at:

    To read more about DataMarket, visit:

  • Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket Blog

    Microsoft at GigaOm Structure: Big Data 2011 Today!


    Today, the Windows Azure DataMarket team’s own Moe Khosravy participated in a fireside chat at the sold out GigaOm Structure: Big Data 2011 event. Part of GigaOm’s Structure series, which brings together industry leaders across the cloud computing and Internet infrastructure industry, the first annual Big Data event will feature 40 representatives from companies across the cloud, data analytics, marketplace and storage industry to discuss the recent explosion in virtual data. Specifically, the conference will  explore the uptick in interest around the “big data” trend as it relates to three areas, including capacity, insights and monetization.

    You can learn more about Moe’s fireside chat titled, “Cash For Your Data? The Future For Datamarkets” where he discussed the future of data marketplaces alongside Flip Kromer, CTO of InfoChimps, a data marketplace provider, at

  • Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket Blog

    Upcoming DataMarket WebCast


    Interested in learning more? Checkout our upcoming webcast on [UPDATED] Wed Apr 6, 2011 at 8:00 AM PST, Leverage ParcelAtlas data on DataMarket to create Innovative Solutions.

    [Updated 3/23/2011] Register at:

    During this webcast you will learn:

    • Business benefits associated with Cloud based GeoSpatial Information Services.
    • How the DataMarket datasets helped establish ParcelAtlas
    • Relationship between Cloud and other GeoSpatial Information Services.
    • ParcelAtlas Database Scope and vast GeoSpatial functionality supported by API.
    • How ParcelAtlas is like subscribing to SEAMLESS USA - Business opportunities in expediting the NPL.
    • How an open records 3,140 County National Parcel Layer will be a wellspring to a 100,000 business ops.

    Meet the Presenters:

    Dennis H. Klein, GISP, past PE, past AICP, Boundary Solutions

    Dennis started his GIS career in 1971 as a practicing planner who was esri's first private sector customer, the Bretton Wood, Mt Washington Development Program. After fifteen years in the planning trenches, Dennis went full time GIS, opening up Facility Mapping Systems in 1986, offering AutoCAD based GIS software for municipal and utilities. Shipped 3,000 systems, including hundreds to counties that started full function digital parcel maps early on. After nine years, sold to EaglePoint. Started next project. Building on experience of providing software to counties, now assembling, normalizing and deploying a national parcel layer online as ParcelAtlas, now available in MarketPlace.

    Sudhir Hasbe, Senior Product Manager ; SQL Azure and Middleware, Microsoft

    Sudhir Hasbe is a Sr. Product Manager at Microsoft focusing on SQL Azure and Middleware. Mr. Hasbe is responsible for DataMarket, Microsoft's information marketplace. Mr. Hasbe is responsible for building ISV partner ecosystem around Windows Azure Platform. Mr. Hasbe has passion for incubation businesses and has worked at few startup businesses prior to Microsoft. Sudhir Hasbe has rich background in ERP, EAI and Supply chain management space. Prior to Microsoft Mr. Hasbe has worked with more than 55 companies in 10 countries over 10 years implementing and integrating ERP systems with various supply chain and data collection solutions.

  • Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket Blog

    Real-World DataMarket: Interview with Dan Malks, JackBe Vice President for App Platform Engineering


    As part of the Real-World DataMarket series, we talked to Dan Malks, Vice President for App Platform Engineering at JackBe, about how his company is taking advantage of DataMarket (a part of Windows Azure Marketplace) to power Presto, the company’s flagship Real-Time Intelligence (RTI) solution.

    MSDN: Tell us about JackBe. What services do you offer and what is your mission?
    JackBe focuses on delivering true real-time intelligence through our Presto solution. Every business needs to be able to bring data together quickly from a variety of internal and external sources to make real-time decisions. Our mission is to help businesses make smarter decisions faster, and Presto is the fastest way for organizations to gain RTI, which we facilitate by delivering portable web Apps that can be used when and where our customers need them.

    MSDN: What differentiates Presto from other business intelligence or dashboard solutions?
    The Presto concept is similar to business intelligence and dashboarding, but Presto is more dynamic and user-friendly. Organizations can use Presto Apps for a variety of RTI goals and tasks, such as monitoring key performance indicators, operations management, situational awareness, departmental and organizational transparency and accountability, geospatial awareness, as well as implementing 360-degree operational dashboards. And these are just examples; the platform is highly flexible and customizable.

    MSDN: What prompted JackBe to start looking at cloud technology?
    The business value proposition of the cloud is now well established, letting organizations spin up scalable solutions quickly, without requiring the traditional internal investment in IT expertise, server provisioning, and so on. But this also makes the cloud a valuable platform for information. As our customers and their applications move to the cloud, they want us to help them connect their cloud data to their on-premise data, and to data from other cloud sources such as DataMarket.

    MSDN: Did you consider any cloud platforms besides the Windows Azure platform?
    Yes—two major competitors. Google App Engine was too limited from a programming language perspective. Neither Google nor Amazon had anything like DataMarket. The fact that Windows Azure is evolving so quickly, and the amount and types of information in DataMarket are constantly expanding, make the platform ideal for us and our customers.

    MSDN: How does DataMarket help you address the RTI needs of your customers?
    The information in DataMarket is especially valuable because of its richness, diversity, and accuracy. Today, many decision makers spend half their time just looking for the right data, even before than can act on it. DataMarket speeds the decision-making process by providing a central place where they can find whatever data they need for different purposes, saving time and increasing efficiency.

    MSDN: As a Microsoft partner, what’s the primary business value that Presto adds to DataMarket?
    Presto brings data together from many internal and external sources and combines it into a single feed that is easily customizable to fit a specific business purpose, which makes a lot of business sense. By bringing Presto and DataMarket together, some of the traditional technical challenges of managing multiple data sources—IT work to handle multiple feeds, formats, and so on—aren’t challenges anymore. As a result, for customers, development becomes easier, they get their real-time intelligence faster, and their business benefits are achieved much quicker.

    Read the full story at:

    To learn more, visit:

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