Microsoft Releases SQL Azure Database CTP

Microsoft releases community technology preview versions of SQL Azure and Microsoft SQL Server StreamInsight. At the moment, the CTPs are available for MSDN and TechNet subscribers only, but will be generally available Aug. 19.

Microsoft has released a community technology preview for its cloud-based SQL Azure Database, continuing a busy month for the company's database business.

The SQL Azure Database CTP features a relational data model supporting T-SQL (Transact-SQL), including T-SQL stored procedures, as well as the ability to access SQL Azure with common data access APIs such as ODBC, OLE DB, ADO.NET and PHP. Also available as a CTP is the SQL Server Driver for PHP 1.1, which offers support for SQL Azure and new capabilities for building PHP applications.

"With the explosion of data-driven Web 2.0 applications, along with the need to extend existing applications and build innovative data solutions in the cloud-these are exciting milestones," wrote Senior Program Manager David Robinson on the SQL Azure Team blog. "With SQL Azure, developers building Web 2.0, ASP.NET and PHP applications can use familiar tools and data models to develop on a pay-as-you-grow, secure, scalable and highly available database service at minimal infrastructure cost. In fact, there are really no comparable solutions available today-we are leading the industry by offering a relational database service."

Microsoft also continued the rollout for SQL Server 2008 R2 CTP with the availability of Microsoft SQL Server StreamInsight, which is designed to bring low-latency complex event processing to SQL Sever and is scheduled to be available in the first half of 2010.

The SQL Server StreamInsight August CTP is meant to give customers a sneak peak at a solution that "will enable organizations to derive insights from streaming data in near-real time in scenarios such as Web analytics, algorithmic trading and industrial process control," the company wrote on its SQL Server News Blog.

"What differentiates our platform even more is the [capability] for customization; customers and partners can use their own proprietary algorithms to build custom applications, ISVs can build industry-specific solutions and embedded system developers can offer low-latency processing," the Aug. 18 blog post said. Microsoft also said, "In addition, SQL Server StreamInsight's integration with proven Microsoft development tools and frameworks such as LINQ, Visual Studio and the .NET Framework help customers and partners eliminate set-up and configuration hassles to save time and money."