Microsoft to Expand Database Capabilities in the Cloud

Microsoft announces plans to expose SQL Server's network protocol, Tabular Data Stream, to SQL Data Services. The move is meant to help Microsoft make good on a promise to enhance the capabilities of its database service offering.

Microsoft got more specific March 10 with its plans to enhance database capabilities in the cloud for users of SQL Data Services.

The company announced that later this year, SQL Data Services (SDS) will be fine-tuned to connect to database applications via Tabular Data Stream (TDS). TDS is the network protocol used by SQL Server. The move, Microsoft officials said, will aid developers as they move code developed in T-SQL into the cloud.

"Think of this as providing a relational data model accessed by customers' applications via T-SQL over TDS," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "It delivers a familiar development experience for customers currently using an on-premises SQL Server database, and in turn enables them to use existing knowledge, skills, tools and applications."

SDS with TDS support will be unveiled first in the form of a community technology preview in the middle of the year, and will be commercially available in the second half of 2009.

According to Microsoft, the plan is to support traditional relational database capabilities such as triggers and stored procedures in the cloud.

"With the acceleration to a T-SQL based standard relational data model, we will migrate from the current SOAP [Simple Object Access Protocol] and REST based Authority-Container-Entity (ACE) data model," Microsoft officials said in a blog post. "We will announce plans for decommissioning the existing REST based SDS service when we introduce the new TDS based SDS Service."

Customers who want to expose REST-based access to SDS relational data can build custom services with ADO.Net Data Services, Microsoft said.

The company will be announcing technical details of the TDS-based SDS service at the MIX 09 conference in Las Vegas later this month.