Spotlight Press Release today reminded us that we've reached the
one year anniversary of the Windows Azure platform. Given all the exciting
developments and progress we have made over the last year, it is easy to
forget that it's been only a year since SQL Azure was first available as a paid
service! For us, of course, the most
interesting part of this journey has been watching the innovative ways in which
our customers use SQL Azure.
In January alone, we blogged about an energy
management software startup which was using the cloud to reach new markets
and an online
marketing services company which was leveraging SQL Azure and the cloud for massive scale.
Today's press release, sheds light on a range of other
interesting scenarios: including an app
created by T-Mobile USA in just six
weeks, for families to schedule and co-ordinate activities such as movie nights
and Xerox's innovative cloud based
mobile printing solution using SQL Azure and Windows Azure.
I'd like to call out the Xerox solution in particular. In 2010, Xerox introduced, Xerox Mobile Print,
a solution which allows its workers to send documents to any printer in the
company from a handheld device such as their smartphone. Now, when employees are traveling on business, they can do things
like quickly print a presentation for tomorrow's client meeting without having
to spend countless hours at a local hotel business center.
Xerox used SQL Azure to store all relational data including
information related to user accounts, jobs, and devices as well as print job
metadata. By deploying Xerox Cloud Print on SQL Azure, Xerox was able to get
the solution to market in just four months. Eugene Shustef, Chief Engineer, Global
Document Outsourcing, at Xerox mentions that his developers saw no difference
between SQL Azure and SQL Server and the familiarity offered by the platform was
critical in getting to market quickly and gaining a global presence
overnight. Read more about Eugene's
interview and the associated case study here.