Microsoft NoSQL database and full-text search service previews available on Azure

Microsoft is making available previews of two new Azure services: Its DocumentDB NoSQL service and its full-text search service built on Elasticsearch.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is making available in preview form on August 21 two new Azure cloud services: A NoSQL database service and a full-text search service.


The Azure DocumentDB NoSQL service was built by Microsoft in response to user requests for a fully mananged database that provided query and transactional capabilities at scale, Microsoft officials said. Microsoft is not open-sourcing Azure DocumentDB, but the company will submit the client-library software development kits for it to the open source community, officials said.

Azure DocumentDB is meant to bridge NoSQL's document database functionality with the transactional capabilities of relational databases. The DocumentDB service natively supports JSON documents and makes available programming libraries for a number of languages and platforms, including .Net, Node.js, JavaScript and Python.

Azure DocumentDB is making use of the lock-free indexing technology developed by Microsoft Research and used in "Hekaton," the in-memory online-transaction-processing engine in SQL Server 2014. Customers will have a range of database consistency options from which to choose, including strong, weak or eventual.

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    The new Azure search service uses the open source Elasticsearch distributed search technology as its underlying full-text search engine. The Azure Search service will make available some of the Elasticsearch features but still be a Microsoft-managed service. The target audience for this service isn't end-users doing web searches; instead, it is web and mobile application developers looking to incorporate full-text search into their applications, according to Microsoft officials.

    "With Azure Search developers can easily provision a search service, quickly create and tune one or more indexes, upload data to be indexed and start issuing searches," Microsoft officials explained in a blog post. The service will allow developers to integrate search into new or existing applications that are usable from any platform or development environemnt, officials said.

    Microsoft also is making Apache HBase clustering support for Azure HDInsight (Hadoop on Azure) generally available as of today, August 21.

    "Microsoft's data platform team is on a journey where we can handle multiple data types with multiple engines," said Corporate Vice President T.K. "Ranga" Rengarajan, who joined Microsoft from SAP a year ago.

    "The cloud first, mobile first world has a new breed of apps that run on multiple devices, providing multiple experiences on each device. All this contributes to big churn in the data model that's kept in the cloud," Rengarajan added. 

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