Microsoft Azure DocumentDB Evolves Into Cosmos DB

Cosmos DB, Microsoft's successor to Azure DocumentDB, is a distributed cloud database for applications with a global reach.

Microsoft cloud

Microsoft had bigger plans for its Azure DocumentDB NoSQL service. During the Build developer conference this week, the software giant announced its replacement, the globe-spanning Azure Cosmos DB.

Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of Microsoft Data Group, described Azure Cosmos DB as "the industry's first globally-distributed, multi-model database service," in a May 10 blog post. "Azure Cosmos DB was built from the ground up with global distribution and horizontal scale at its core—it offers turn-key global distribution across any number of Azure regions by transparently scaling and distributing your data wherever your users are, worldwide."

Cosmos DB has been in the works since 2010, back when it was known as "Project Florence," Sirosh said. The database supports multiple query APIs (application programming interfaces) and data models. Its database engine has been tuned to provide fast queries and doesn't require schema or index management.

Essentially, Azure Cosmos DB will enable developers to deploy always-on, planet-scale apps, claims Microsoft.

"Azure Cosmos DB makes global distribution, turnkey. With a single click, you can add/remove any number of Azure regions to your Azure Cosmos DB database, anytime," said Dharma Shukla, distinguished engineer and general manager, of Open Source Software Analytics and NoSQL at Microsoft in a May 10 announcement. "Azure Cosmos DB will seamlessly replicate your data wherever your users are."

An in-depth technical overview of Azure Cosmos DB is available here.

In other database-related news, Microsoft also announced that Azure Database for MySQL and Azure Database for PostgreSQL were joining the company's cloud database offerings. Sirosh assured users that the new services are supported by the same highly-available cloud infrastructure that powers Microsoft's own Azure SQL solutions.

"Starting today, you can now develop on MySQL and PostgreSQL database services on Azure. Microsoft is managing the MySQL and PostgreSQL technology you know, love and expect but backed by an enterprise-grade, highly available and fault tolerant cloud services platform that allows you to focus on developing great apps versus management and maintenance," stated Sirosh.

The company also released new tooling for the Visual Studio Code editor to help developers of all stripes become AI developers.

The new Azure Data Lake Tools for Visual Studio Code enable developers to target the company's big data analytics cloud service. It supports authoring and scripting using U-SQL, Azure Data Lake's query language.

"The new tooling integrates with Azure Data Lake Analytics for U-SQL job submissions with job output to Azure Data Lake Analytics or Azure Blob Storage," Microsoft's unstructured object data storage service, explained Sirosh. "In addition, U-SQL local run service has been added to allow developers to locally validate scripts and test data."

To keep Azure SQL databases safe, Microsoft made its threat detection capability on the service. In keeping with the AI theme of this year's Build conference, Sirosh noted that the security-enhancing features uses machine learning to detect potentially dangerous database activity and alert administrators within minutes, rather than the weeks and months it sometimes takes organizations to discover their databases have been hacked.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...