Microsoft Office 365 and SQL Azure updates: What's on tap

Microsoft Office 365 and SQL Azure updates: What's on tap

Summary: Microsoft is set to begin rolling out new updates to its Office 365, SQL Azure and Dynamics CRM Online services in the coming weeks/months.


As opposed to most Microsoft software, the company's cloud services -- at least some of them -- are updated several times a year. A number of Microsoft's major service platforms, including Office 365 (and its Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online components); SQL Azure; and Dynamics CRM Online are set to be rev'd before the end of this calendar year.

Here's some of what's on tap for the coming refreshes:

SQL Azure Q4 2011 Service Release (due before the end of calendar 2011)

New features include:

  • Maximum database size expanded. The maximum database size for individual SQL Azure databases will be expanded three times, from 50 GB to 150 GB
  • Support for federation. With SQL Azure Federation, databases can be elastically scaled out using the sharding database pattern based on database size and the application workload, according t the company. "This new feature will make it dramatically easier to set up sharding, automate the process of adding new shards, and provide significant new functionality for easily managing database shards."
  • New SQL Azure Management Portal functionality. New capabilities include improvements in the ability to monitor databases, drill-down into schemas, query plans, support spatial data, indexes/keys, and query performance statistics.

SharePoint Online Q4 Service Release (due for staged rollout in late October through November 2011)

New features include:

  • Business Connectivity Services (BCS). Enables connecting to external systems via web service based endpoints (for customers with enterprise plans only)
  • Windows LiveID support.    Allows Office 365 tenant administrators to invite external users to a site collection. They sign in with a Windows Live ID-based user name and password
  • Windows Phone 7 "Mango" (official support and http:// connectivity). Ability of small-business and enterprise Office 365 customers to access SharePoint Online lists and document libraries from their Windows Phone
  • Recycle Bin. Self-service ability to recover sites from a site collection’s recycle bin
  • Browser support. Adds "official" support for the Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) and Google Chrome browsers

Lync Online Q4 Service Release (due in Q4 2011)

New features include:

Dynamics CRM Online service (due in Q4 2011)

New features include:

I've asked Microsoft for more information on other features due to be released as part of the Office 365 Q4 update but have not received word back.

Topics: Data Management, Data Centers, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Software, Software Development, Storage


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • RE: Microsoft Office 365 and SQL Azure updates: What's on tap

    This is nice.
    Ram U
  • RE: Microsoft Office 365 and SQL Azure updates: What's on tap ..
    this is nice
  • RE: Microsoft Office 365 and SQL Azure updates: What's on tap

    The database sharding is of particular interest to us.

    The ability to start small and yet add shards as capacity demands increase is an extremely important way for us to control our costs.

    Also, I guess the Lync for mobile workers will (FINALLY) mean Lync for Windows Phone and other handsets too :) Combined with Skype, Lync's future looks particularly bright.
  • RE: Microsoft Office 365 and SQL Azure updates: What's on tap .........
  • RE: Microsoft Office 365 and SQL Azure updates: What's on tap

    "Microsoft the Greed". They will continue to sell if its profitable. They love money and do not care how its made. They love it! They represent the bankers. It should be known to everyone on Wall Street that Microsoft has hurt the computer industry by overcharging for products that only take a few thousand and six months to make. They make billions on the backs of immigrant workers hosted my contract companies to hide the truth. They illegally import bus loads of migrants every month, just to save a penny. They overcharge for products, pay off politicians, writeoff losses so they states will have to pay from poor taxpayers. They have no remorse if you are starving and work at Microsoft and still have to go to the foodbank. I doubt this message will remain, hopefully the writter will read this far. People who work for Microsoft do not make enough to buy the products they work on. People (like me) who have worked for them never can afford their own products. They say they give a discount, but this is something they give anyone with a website and an internet connection. You can find better discounts off ebay. Microsoft would rather PROFIT from its own employees, by selling overcharge software, that the employees makes, and selling them overcharging them for a product worth pennies. This is the worst company in the country. When I look at the greed. and the Homelesses that surrounds this compnay its clear, that this company in Redmond has used the state of Washignton, while the state runs dry. Washignton state is poor, thousands homeless surrounds the campus buildings, they threaten politicians that ask for more, they tell locals they are moving HQ if you chrage taxes. The state is in ruins and the people are starving and homeless on the corners of their campus buildings. They continue to threaten to leave Washington if politicians ask for taxes. This company represents greed. The greed of Microsoft is what put them out of business, cause the people have stopped buying their stuff. They relresent the worst business.
    Another dumb move by the billionaires at Microsoft. You can always expect the team at microsoft to spend billions on a technology that makes no sense, when they have lync. Has anyone even thought about this, or relaying propaganda. Lync already does all of this the skype does. Has anyone even thought about why they paid for this? This is the worst and final bad decision Ballmer is going to make. The fact is they just thew away billions on a company that was having trouble paying the books. They bought a company that was in debt. How are they going to make anything and get the billions back? They never will, its will be put on the taxpayers. The lose will be written off like no big deal, cause they can always pay off the local politicians and run ads promoting their kindness around all the homeless people that surrounds their buildings. If you ever been to Washignton and see the amount of people living outside, I doubt the carnival would last much longer. They figure its best to take on as much debt as possible so they can make the poor people pay for their losses. Why do you think they are still headquartered in Washington state. Cause they get kickbacks and the taxpayers pay for loss. Its the biggest racket yet. The world will know when its all over how they still had so much cash, when they have been in debt and LOSING for ten years and NOT selling os'. They have been writing off losses and coooking the books by office moves.

    They are the biggest problem for the internet community and other internet companies as they are representing the wroung way to do business. Rape from the poor, overcharge for a product that takes them 100k to create and they make billions in profit while the poor people still can not afford to buy anything.

    I worked at Microsoft TEN times. 10 time Microsoft worker and I never could afford to buy their own PC! Did I tell you that I have stood in line at the foodbank while working at Microsoft! Did I =tell you I could never afford gasoline to make it to work. I starved when working at microsoft, I could never afford to use the the products I helped create! I have worked on the biggest products released the past ten years. I could never afford to buy their products. They even give workers a discount for their stuff, but this was a discount I could get looking online for the same stuff. Again they provided me with a discount, touted around and promoted that employees get this wonderful discount at their shop on campus. NOT. This discount can be found just doing a simple search online. They are the biggest PROFITEERS and have HURT the evolution of the computer age. They represent the wrong way of life for everyone. People living just a few miles from their offices CAN NOT afford XP. Yet they would rather put XP intot he trashcan and let more people starve. There are people holding signs up on corners surrounding their offices. THese are people who have worked for them, after they are done, its back to the street. They do not care, only PROFIT is their main concern. Money is all they want. They have no purpose in the new world. They should be eradicated when the banks go. All the profiteers should be brought to real justice. The CRIMES they commit are silent and they pay others to keep quiet. They use lawyers and sideshow companies to do their dirty work. They worst company in the land that breeds business practices for the indu=stry for other to follow. They are evil and their profits display the need for reform and imprisonment. Greed kills, its just that never makes the news....
    • RE: Microsoft Office 365 and SQL Azure updates: What's on tap


      off the meds?
    • RE: Microsoft Office 365 and SQL Azure updates: What's on tap

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  • RE: Microsoft Office 365 and SQL Azure updates: What's on tap

    Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. -Yoda.

    I sense a lot of hate in you @cat11gmx, that is not healthy. There are better examples of greed on the IT market btw...
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