Microsoft has expanded on the details of its strategy for SQL Data Services, which was first announced in February.
The next stage of the plan will be to "accelerate the delivery of core relational database features as part of SDS [SQL Data Services]", according to a posting on Tuesday on the Microsoft SQL Data Services team blog.
These features will include high availability, fault tolerance, easy provisioning, pay-as-you-grow scaling and consistency of data. Microsoft's SDS team also said it wanted to ensure the online database system included true relational capabilities and compatibility with existing development and management tools.
SDS, which was formerly known as SQL Server Data Services, is part of Microsoft's Azure Services platform. It sits on top of the Azure operating system, which is currently under development. Microsoft said SDS will be running as the mid-tier layers of its Azure cloud services, and the company considers SDS to be the strategic database component.
"The universal feedback we received from our partners and other early adopters was the need for a relational database delivered as a service," Microsoft senior program manager David Robinson wrote in the team blog. "This was extremely valuable feedback and drove us to more aggressively investigate ways in which we could deliver these features. As a result of that work, and based on the progress we've since made in the product team, we are announcing that SDS will deliver full relational database capabilities as a service."
The result will be that the first version of SDS will have feature support that will ensure database applications "just work", Robinson added, and developers will be able to use the same code base for both in-house and online usage of the database.
Another new feature is the addition of Tabular Data Support with support for tables, stored procedures, triggers, indexes and Visual Studio, among other features.
The revamped SDS will be out in public in a test-build form by mid-2009 and available commercially in the second half of this year, according to Microsoft.