Cloud-first features from Microsoft

In his talk, Nuno Filipe mentioned in passing something I found interesting, so I present it here for you to find just as interesting. He said

“Microsoft are promising to deliver features first on the cloud, then later on-premises”

That’s a paraphrase. One clue is that everyone uses the Jargon on-prem for ‘on premises,’ or ‘software I installed on a machine’. Use it — you’ll sound like you know what you’re talking about.

But the sentiment is not just an empty threat. A really useful feature on Azure is SQL Federation, a feature that doesn’t exist yet in release versions of SQL 2012, but which is available right now on Azure. It’s a feature which helps you scale out your database to many different servers, and gives you the ability to split your database up by certain criteria. An example would be to create one ‘sub-database’ per customer, or one ‘sub-database’ per geographic region, or some other split. Then you can do things like this pseudocode;

-- switch to using the sub-database for europe
USE FEDERATION geo (location='europe') WITH FILTERING=ON -- get all the european projects
SELECT * FROM Projects -- now switch back to the master database
USE FEDERATION geo RESET -- now get all projects across the world
SELECT * FROM Projects

So the plan, clearly, is to tease people onto Azure with the latest and greatest features. I’m guessing they’ll do the same with other features. I bet IIS 9 will roll out first on Azure, and Exchange 2015…

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