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SQL Azure Gets New Features -- Users Want More!

Microsoft last week updated its cloud-based SQL Azure service, but some users are still clamoring for additional features to bring it up to par with SQL Server.

Service Update 4 enables database copying, among other improvements. Several readers, however, immediately responded to the announcement by asking for more. One issue is lack of a road map of future enhancements planned for SQL Azure.

"It is great to see the SQL Azure team constantly improving the service," wrote a poster called Savstars. "I think what a lot of people would like to see a feature implementation road map from the SQL Azure teams' management. This should assist project managers figure out when would be the best time to release their projects to the SQL Azure platform, based on when the required features become available."

A reader named Niall agreed: "Yeah I have been asking for some sort of road map previously. It would really help so that we can plan on when or if we use SQL Azure for production." He also said Reporting Services was his big requirement, while another reader asked for "free text support" -- I'm thinking he might've meant "full-text search support" or "free tech support."

Other limitations of SQL Azure as compared to SQL Server are numerous, as Microsoft points out. It also lists a page full of general similarities and differences.

Michael K. Campbell earlier this year wrote that missing features such as Geography or Geometry data types, Typed XML and CLR functionality could serve as "showstoppers" for database developers considering moving to the Azure cloud.

The lack of BACKUP and RESTORE commands has long been a sore point, though, which the new copy capability addresses. Other enhancements in the new service update include more data centers for the management tool code-named Houston, which will improve performance. Also, a documentation page has been put together, though right now topics there are about just connecting to SQL Azure through various means such as ADO.NET, ASP.NET, Entity Framework and PHP.

What features would you like to see added next? Comment below or drop me a line.

Posted by David Ramel on 08/31/2010 at 1:15 PM


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