The latest to join SQL Azure services line-up alongside SQL Azure Reporting Services -- is complex-event processing. The cloud version of this capability is known as codename "Austin."
Austin will be the service version of the StreamInsight complex-event-processing capabilities that're in SQL Server today. Complex event processing "enables real time insight into vast volumes of streaming data," according to Microsoft's explanation, which's distinct from, but related to, business intelligence, which "enables analytics and insight into a set of existing data to inform future decision making."
Austin is being released in private CTP form now, but will be available as a public CTP, available from the SQL Azure Labs Site, in the second half of the year.
By hosting StreamInsight on Windows Azure platform, Microsoft will allow customers and partners "to build event-driven apps where the analysis of the events is performed in the cloud," explained Zane Adam.
Among some of the potential scenarios where Austin could be used, as envisioned by Microsoft:
- 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.)
- "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).
Microsoft also said the company has released its May 2011 service update for SQL Azure, which includes four new updates:
- SQL Azure Management REST API - a web API for managing SQL Azure servers
- Multiple servers per subscription - create multiple SQL Azure servers per subscription
- JDBC Driver - updated database driver for Java applications to access SQL Server and SQL Azure
- DAC Framework 1.1 - making it easier to deploy databases and in-place upgrades on SQL Azure
Officials also said that they're planning to add in some unspecified future SQL Azure release the integration of import and export features in the management portal; and enhancements to the Web-based database manager (a k a, "Project Houston") for additional schema management, and a new service for managing SQL Azure databases through an Open Data Protocol endpoint.
A CTP for a database import/export capability availablel. This capability is designed to allow SQL Azure database users to more simply archive SQL Azure and SQL Server databases, or to migrate on-premises SQL Server databases to SQL Azure, according to company officials.