Introducing Project Houston

At this point there should be no question that Microsoft is fully embracing the cloud. Windows Azure and SQL Azure launched earlier this year and have been receiving positive feedback. I’ve been happily using SQL Azure for several months. One of the great aspects of SQL Azure is the integration with the standard tooling, e.g….

Getting Started with SQL Azure

I’ve been using SQL Azure for several months now both for messing around (kicking the tires if you will) and for hosting a real database. I have a database with research data running in SQL Azure and I use Excel to connect to the database. I even share this out with others on my team….

SQL Azure Now Supports Data-tier Applications

As announced a few weeks ago on the SQL Azure blog, SQL Azure now supports Data-tier Applications which are introduced with Visual Studio 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2. Here’s a quick tour of the feature.  Here’s what I did: Launch Visual Studio 2010 and create a new Data-tier Application project Import my pubs database…


Microsoft is in the Cloud – What does that mean for the Data Professional?

There has been a lot of buzz lately about “the cloud” and what it means for IT, and the organizations they serve. I just finished watching Steve Ballmer deliver Microsoft’s vision for the cloud, wondering if it would be different than the offerings of other firms. It feels like it is different. So what is…

Three suggestions for SQL Server DBAs in 2010

One of these days I really should blog about “dumb questions I have been asked at customer briefings.” There’s a danger in that, of course: namely, that a customer could equitably blog about “dumb answers I received from Donald Farmer.” Nevertheless, the other day, a CIO asked me an excellent question. “Aside from core skills,…