One of the things I’ve been keeping an eye on for quite a while now is the development of the Azure Search system.
While it’s not a full replacement for the full-text indexing service in SQL Server on-premises as yet, it’s a really, really good start.
Liam Cavanagh, Pablo Castro and the team have done a great job bringing this to the preview stage and I suspect it could be quite popular. I was very impressed by how they incorporated quite a bit of feedback I gave them early on, and I’m sure that others involved would have felt the same.
There are two tiers at present. One is a free tier and has shared resources; the other is currently $125/month and has reserved resources. I would like to see another tier between these two, much the same way that Azure websites work. If you have any feedback on this, now would be a good time to make it known.
In the meantime, given there is a free tier, there’s no excuse to not get out and try it. You’ll find details of it here: http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/services/search/
I’ll be posting more info about this service, and showing examples of it during the upcoming months.