Last month Microsoft released the SQL Azure management tool currently code named project Houston. You can read more about it here. Houston is a Silverlight tool which provides a GUI to managed and create items within your SQL Azure database instance. I would encourage everyone to watch the demos and get hooked.
Houston will allow those developers not familiar with SQL Server to build tables, views and stored procedures quickly as part of their web project. Though if someone can code a stored procedure they wouldn’t really be a simple developer would they?
It is, in a sense, a kind of Access-ish type of interface to SQL Azure. SQL Azure really does allow a small operation like us to build robust applications for enterprises, hosted in the cloud and managed by us. No need for us to rent expensive servers and setup all the software on our own or, eek!, build our own with the expense and SLA requirements. The cloud commoditises all that and lets us develop and someone else manage. But with the additional flexibility that a customer can turn it off when not needed. So you only pay for the CPU and storage you are using.
This month I hope to attend several more seminars on SQL Server. And at the end of September there is SQLbits. For anyone who hasn’t been or heard of SQLBits, this is a community conference which has now expanded beyond its original Saturday format. Check out their website and register. This time they are in York.