'Roswell': Another key component of Microsoft's cloud strategy

Microsoft is building a new Azure-based service, codenamed Roswell, to enable information workers to help them find and publish data and applications inside their own businesses.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

More pieces are falling into place regarding Microsoft's seemingly interconnected cloud and big-data strategies.

The latest new component is codenamed "Roswell." And as I noted on last week's Windows Weekly episode, where I first mentioned this codename, this Roswell isn't about UFOs. Instead, it is about Microsoft's evolving "new world of data" and "connected data" concepts which fall under Corporate Vice President Ted Kummert's Business Data Platform (BDP) unit in Microsoft's Server and Tools org. (Remember: Azure Application Platform chief Scott Guthrie now works for Kummert.)

Roswell is a new Windows Azure-hosted service that Microsoft's Information Services team is building. The Roswell service is related to the Windows Azure DataMarket -- which is a public-facing marketplace. But Roswell supposedly will be targeted at information workers and will help them more easily find and publish data and applications inside their own enterprises. I'm not sure whether Roswell will be a private DataMarket or if it will just be a protected area within the existing Azure DataMarket.

(Note: All of this information on Roswell is from a Microsoft job posting which the company has since pulled.)

Update: Directions on Microsoft's Wes Miller wondered on Twitter whether Roswell might have something to do with DQS, Data Quality Services -- which is based on technology Microsoft acquired when it bought Zoomix in 2008. I have no idea, but it's an interesting thought, given that DQS enables content providers to provide data services through the Azure Marketplace.

In other Microsoft cloud-related news, Microsoft delivered a first Labs preview release of what may end up becoming the equivalent of its BizTalk in the cloud service. (BizTalk is Microsoft's enterprise integration server, the latest on-prem version of which is due in late 2012 or early 2013 and named "BizTalk Server 2010 R2."

The Windows Azure Service Bus EAI and EDI offering is considered a possible future addition to Windows Azure (with no guarantees, as is the case with Labs releases). EAI here stands for enterprise application integration and provides rich messag-processing capabilities and the ability to connect public-private cloud assets. EDI, electronic data interchange, is a service for trading-partner management.

Azure expert Roger Jennings of OakLeaf Systems blog fame, has assembled a bunch of posts related to the new Azure Service Bus EAI and EDI preview if you want more details.

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