This week is Microsoft's developer-focused conference, Build 2015, in San Francisco. The day one keynote was full of exciting news about several platforms, incluiding Windows 10. There were also several exciting announcements about data platforms.
Why is that a big deal? Why bring up Azure SQL Database capabilities at a developer conference? The apps you're building are going to generate and use data. The way you store it, the way you retrieve it, the engines behind those capabilities are very important. Here are a few highlights!
Elastic Database Pool
This feature is aimed at SaaS providers. You may have hundreds or thousands of databases with unpredictable or varying levels of demand. Elastic Database Pool will allow you to set a pool of resources to be shared among many databases - rather than scaling one at a time. One of the features I find most exciting about this is elastic database jobs, which will allow you to run a job against all the databases in a pool - increasing automation!
There are other newly-introduced features that make Azure databases worth looking at, too. Row-level security is hot - being able to determine what users are able to return from a query without modifying the code of individual queries or stored procedures. Dynamic data masking allows you set policies around who can see sensitive information - again, with no code modifications. Microsoft has also added Transparent Data Encryption capabilities to Azure SQL Database!
Azure Data Warehouse
Azure is growing up with the addition of a large-scale data warehouse option. You can grow or shrink it on demand, pause and resume if necessary, and combine both on-premises and Azure data. It will use the same technology that is behind the Analytics Platform System appliance, without the need for you to invest in one on-premises. This is a huge step forward for data analytics!
Azure Data Lake
In more exciting Big Data news, Azure Data Lake was revealed. It's a Hadoop distributed file system for the cloud - allowing you to store all forms of data until it's needed. You can then use familiar tools such as HD Insight and Cloudera on it. This is exciting because you can spend less time worrying about bringing in the pieces to store and manage the data, and get right to analyzing and using it.