The first, full day of PDC is almost over. I've been able to sit through the keynotes, some Azure breakouts, 1:1's, side meetings, and lunch. I thought I would blog a few points about what I've seen and heard on day one:
Microsoft site / product, codename "Dallas", is a new marketplace that enables the ability to share, discover, and consume data. This means people with large data sets can post their data here and developers can enable new applications that leverage this data. I think this is just brilliant. Enable a way for data providers to monetize the usage of their data while enabling developers to create applications that leverage the same.
Another marketplace, Microsoft PinPoint was announced. It is a site for sharing applications, bits of applications, and services. The key is a central location for sharing, discovering, and consuming applications and services. It seems Microsoft will be pushing this new marketplace heavily on many of their other sites when companies, consumers, and developers are looking for solutions. I really like where this is going in that it enable new opportunities for developers.
Microsoft has really come a long with Azure since last year’s PDC. So far, in fact, that the production launch data has been announced (Jan 1, 2010) and a pricing model was presented.
Surprise! -- Azure now supports hosting application outside of .NET. This includes MySql, PHP, and more. In fact, anything you can run on computer hardware looks like it will be supported on this new cloud platform. This seems to put Microsoft at the center of the hosting world.
Microsoft announced the ability to mount a SQL blob as an NTFS drive and program against it. This allows you to write the same file I/O code you would if you were coding against a hard drive on a box or network.
The new service bus for Azure allows for securely connected applications over the internet, across networks, across organizations. Hope to see more on this.
Got an walkthrough of an data center container – WOW! Hope to post a picture soon.
The SQL Azure stuff has just been awesome. What a great job the team seems to have done with this stuff. It really is a relational database as a service. For example, you can create a SQL Azure database and just count on the fact that replication just happens, failover just happens; it is not a hosted database but a service with an endpoint. Amazing.
I saw a good demo where an Azure team member had an existing application using SQL Server. They grabbed a connection string from a SQL Azure database service. The same code then connected and ran against SQL Azure. It really brought home the promise of using existing tools and code inside this new cloud!
We heard Ray Ozzie stress that Microsoft is focused on making Silverlight the single client solution on Windows, Mobile, and TV (Xbox, etc.). It seems that Silverlight has a ton of momentum … can’t wait to see Scott Gu’s stuff tomorrow on the Silverlight platform.