Over the past 2 months we have seen tremendous validation from leading industry analyst firms (Gartner and Forrester) that we are delivering great value for our customers and are headed in the right direction with our relational database, middleware services and data market in the cloud, as well as our traditional integration offerings.

Following are recent analyst reports on this topic:

SQL Azure Raises The Bar On Cloud Databases (Forrester Research, Inc., November 2, 2010, .pdf file, 187 kb) Over the past six months, Forrester interviewed 26 companies using Microsoft SQL Azure to find out about their implementations. Most customers stated that SQL Azure delivers a reliable cloud database platform to support various small to moderately sized applications as well as other data management requirements such as backup, disaster recovery, testing, and collaboration. In the report, analyst Noel Yuhanna states that key enhancements position SQL Azure as a leader in the emerging category of cloud databases and writes that it delivers the most innovative, integrated and flexible solution.

Windows Azure AppFabric: A Strategic Core of Microsoft's Cloud Platform (Gartner, November 15, 2010) Examines Microsoft’s strategy with Windows Azure AppFabric and the AppFabric services, concluding that “continuing strategic investment in Windows Azure is moving Microsoft toward a leadership position in the cloud platform market, but success is not assured until user adoption confirms the company's vision and its ability to execute in this new environment.”

Unlock the value of your data with Azure DataMarket (Blog post by James Staten, Forrester Research, October 29, 2010) In this article James Staten provides more commentary from the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference, including a deeper look at Azure DataMarket.

Quotes from the article: “What eBay did for garage sales, DataMarket does for data… With Azure DataMarket now you can unlock the potential of your valuable data and get paid for it because it provides these mechanisms for assigning value to your data, licensing and selling it, and protecting it.

Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for Systematic SOA-Style Application Projects (Gartner, Inc., October 21, 2010) Microsoft is positioned in the Leaders’ Quadrant of this report which examines vendors' application infrastructure worthiness for systematic service-oriented architecture (SOA)-style application projects. According to Gartner, “Systematic projects include long-term consideration and project planning in the process of design and technology selection for the application. They target applications that are intended for extended periods of use, carry advanced service-level requirements and typically have an impact on the overall information context of the business organization.”

Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for Systematic Application Integration Projects (Gartner, Inc., October 18, 2010) Microsoft is positioned in the Leaders’ Quadrant of this report that identifies which products contain the features required to address the needs of systematic application-to-application (A2A), B2B and cloud-based application and integration projects. According to Gartner, “[t]he part of the application infrastructure market focused on integration products for A2A, B2B and cloud-based application integration will undergo consolidation, because multiple product features are used across each of the project types. Many users are looking to support their integration projects with an integrated suite provided by one vendor, thus eliminating the burden to act as a system integrator for application infrastructure.”

The Forrester Wave™: Comprehensive Integration Solutions, Q4 2010 (Forrester Research, Inc., November 9, 2010, .pdf file, 825 kb) Forrester Research Inc., a leading independent research firm, recognized Microsoft as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Comprehensive Integration Solutions, Q4 2010 report. Microsoft’s BizTalk 2010 received some of the top-level scores in the areas of integration server and application development support.


Beyond the continued validation we have seen from industry analysts on our relational database and middleware services in the cloud, we have received similar validation from customers this fall at the many industry events we participated in.  Your feedback is very important to us and we encourage you to take advantage of our free trial offers of SQL Azure and Windows Azure AppFabric.  Click on the links below, give them a try and let us know what you think!