[This article was contributed by the SQL Azure team.]

Following up with the availability of the Windows Azure platform which includes SQL Azure in an additional 20 countries beginning April 9, 2010, our global customers and partners can now take advantage of new SQL Azure features which provide continued ease of design and deployment between on-premises and the cloud DBMS. 

These news features include:

  • MARS (Multiple Active Results Sets), which simplifies the application design process
  • ALTER rename process for symmetry in renaming databases
  • Application and Multi-server management for Data-tier Applications which further streamlines application design and enables deployments of database applications directly from SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010 to SQL Azure for database deployment flexibility

Many customers have looked to SQL Azure as an alternative to MySQL due to the fact that it provides a simple way to offer a highly available and publicly accessible data store.  A primary issue customers have faced in the migration process from a database such as MySQL is the ability to support multiple active resultsets (MARS).  

Customers today can also take advantage of the Data-tier Application which provides the ability to register and deploy Data-tier Applications on SQL Azure. Deployment can be done through Visual Studio 2010 and SQL Server Management Studio 2008 R2, and registration can be done through SQL Server Management Studio 2008 R2. This allows customers to extend their on-premises investments and use familiar tools to build and deploy Data-tier Applications to on premise instances and to SQL Azure. Customers can utilize the Data-tier Application for the ultimate in database deployment flexibility.

We’re also providing our customers with the ALTER rename option which provides the ability to rename a database allowing for symmetry with SQL Server.

As we mentioned at MIX ’10, we will be offering a new 50GB size option in the June timeframe. Today, customers can become an early adopter of this new size option by sending an email to EngageSA@microsoft.com  to receive a survey and nominate applications that requires more than 10GB of storage.  Look for more information on the new 50GB offer in the coming months. 

Sign up for SQL Azure and try out these new features today.