We are continuing our innovation in the Windows Azure Platform and releasing at a frequent cadence of high-value new features and enhancements to our public cloud services.  Today at TechEd I’m excited to make a few new announcements:

For AppFabric, this past month we have just released the Windows Azure AppFabric Caching service, and major enhancements to the Access Control service. At TechEd today we announced two new capabilities for both developers and IT Pros:

  • We released today new features and enhancements as part of the Windows Azure AppFabric May CTP which adds to the Service Bus more comprehensive pub/sub messaging and enables new scenarios on Windows Azure platform.   These scenarios include:
    • Async Cloud Eventing – Distribute event notifications to occasionally connected clients (e.g. phones, remote workers, kiosks, etc);
    • Event-driven SOA – Loose coupling to enable easy evolution of messaging topology over time; and
    • Intra-App Messaging – Load leveling and load balancing for building highly scalable, resilient applications.
  • We also announced capabilities coming in the Windows Azure AppFabric June CTP, which will provide the AppFabric Application Manager and Developer Tools that make it easy for developers to build, deploy, manage and monitor multi-tier (web, business logic, database) applications as a single logical entity. This CTP will also enable getting these benefits when running Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) services on AppFabric.

For SQL Azure we also recently released new Import/Export feature for SQL Azure as CTP.  At TechEd today we announced a set of new developer and IT Pro enhancements:

  • A new capability (Codename “Austin”) which will make Microsoft StreamInsight’s complex event processing capabilities (available in SQL Server today) available as a service on the Windows Azure platform. This allows customers and partners to build event-driven applications where the analysis of the events is performed in the cloud.  This is in private CTP for now, but will be opened up for public CTP later in H2 on the SQL Azure Labs site. 
  • We are integrating the import/export features into the management portal. These features help simplify archiving SQL Azure databases and provide migration between SQL Server on-premises and SQL Azure.  This makes it significantly easier to move databases back and forth between on-premises and cloud.  Additionally, this enables new hybrid scenarios to extend on-premises data beyond the firewall to the cloud and reach both web and mobile users.  By exporting an on-premises database to the cloud and utilizing SQL Azure Data Sync, data will be truly available and kept up to date anywhere – in any of Microsoft’s global datacenters, customer datacenters, and in branch offices for scenarios such as retail point of sale systems.
  • We will also provide an enhanced management experience through the portal, including enhancements to the web based database manager (formerly called “Project Houston”) for additional schema management, and a new service for managing SQL Azure databases via web services with an OData endpoint.

I’d also like to briefly talk a little more about Codename “Austin”.  To learn more about StreamInsight, you can start here, and it adds another dimension to our growing portfolio of cloud data services.  Codename “Austin” now offers the capability for creating event-driven systems in the cloud that have high data rates, continuous queries, and low-latency requirements.  Industries such as manufacturing, utilities, and web analytics use StreamInsight to identify meaningful trends and patterns as they happen to trigger immediate response actions.  Some example scenarios include:

  • Collecting data from manufacturing applications (e.g. real-time events from plant-floor devices and sensors);
  • Financial trading applications (e.g. monitoring and capitalizing on current market conditions with very short windows of opportunity);
  • Web analytics (e.g. immediate click-stream pattern detection and response with targeted advertising.); and
  • “Smart grid” management (e.g. infrastructure for managing electric grids and other utilities, such as immediate response to variations in energy to minimize or avoid outages or other disruptions of service).

Complementary to BI, complex event processing (CEP) enables real time insight into vast volumes of streaming data; while BI enables analytics and insight into a set of existing data to inform future decision making.  Taking StreamInsight into the cloud with Codename “Austin” provides the opportunity to use this as a service instead of implementing this yourself, but more importantly, be able to collect and process events from anywhere on the planet and derive trends from a vastly increased series of events since that data is sent to the cloud. 

To read more on the AppFabric announcements you can read the post on the AppFabric Team Blog and visit www.appfabric.net.

To read more on the latest about the SQL Azure announcements at TechEd, check out the SQL Azure team blog.

We continue to listen to your feedback and come out with new and exciting enhancements to our cloud services. So check out the new capabilities and let us know what you think!