Microsoft's Azure SQL Database-as-a-Service Improvements Highlighted at Pass Summit 2014

Microsoft's Azure SQL Database-as-a-Service Improvements Highlighted at Pass Summit 2014

This morning at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) Summit, Microsoft execs, T.K. Rengarajan, James Phillips, and Joseph Sirosh, took the stage to kick off the event in the opening keynote. Microsoft's investments in the Cloud have been clearly defined over the past couple months through other recent events, but little additional information has been provided for the company's overall SQL Server plans. SQL Server and Azure SQL, of course, is the linchpin for Microsoft's Cloud strategy and actually touches almost every aspect of its public and preview services.

Microsoft considers data as the Cloud currency, evidenced in some of its newer services like Machine Learning and BI. So, amid the normal litany of company and product boasts, the keynote crew made some moderately significant announcements around SQL Server.

Here's the short of it:

  • Available in preview later this year, updates to Azure SQL Database will add greater SQL Server compatibility to Azure SQL Database, making it easier to extend and migrate applications to the cloud. The preview will also unlock in-memory column-store, delivering greater performance.
  • Making it easier for anyone to access machine learning technology, Azure Machine Learning is now available to test free of charge without a subscription or credit card. Only a valid Microsoft account ID is required.

The updates for Azure SQL Database will show up later this year (before the year is out), and the opportunity to start testing Azure Machine Learning is available now.

Learn more about Azure SQL: SQL Database

Learn more about Machine Learning: Machine Learning

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