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My colleague Lynn Langit has put together a walkthrough of Windows Azure DataMarket. In the walkthrough, she shows you how to get to the data viewer, so that you can take a look at the dataset that you are interested in before you decide to work with it in your application. You can work with datasets on the site itself or you can use other methods to explore the data. she starts by using the (recently released) new feature of Excel Power Pivot 2010.
Lynn’s posting is at First Look - Windows Azure Data Market.
DataMarket is a service that provides a single consistent marketplace and delivery channel for high quality information as cloud services. Content partners who collect data can publish it on DataMarket to increase its discoverability and achieve global reach with high availability. Data from databases, image files, reports and real-time feeds is provided in a consistent manner through internet standards. Users can easily discover, explore, subscribe and consume data from both trusted public domains and from premium commercial providers.
One way ISVs can now monetize aggregate data from your many customers so they can comparing their own data to the trends. Data can be hosted on Windows Azure or by your hosting provider or on premises. You can provide a preview, offer free data, or charge for data.
Application developers can use data feeds to create content rich solutions that provide up-to-date relevant information in the right context for end users. Developers can use built-in support for consumption of data feeds from DataMarket within Visual Studio or from any Web development tool that supports HTTP.
End users who need data for business analysis and decision making can conveniently consume it directly in Microsoft Office applications such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft BI tools (PowerPivot, SQL Server Reporting Services). Users can gain new insights into business performance and processes by bringing together disparate datasets in innovative ways.
Bruce D. Kyle ISV Architect
Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation