Earlier today I was considering the various SQL Server platforms that are available today and I wondered aloud,
wonder how long until the majority of #sqlserver newcomers use @sqlazure instead of installing locally
Let me explain. My first experience of development was way back in the early 90s when I would crank open VBA in Access or Excel and start hammering out some code, usually by recording macros and looking at the code that they produced (sound familiar?). The reason was simple, Office was becoming ubiquitous so the barrier to entry was incredibly low and, save for a short hiatus at university, I’ve been developing on the Microsoft platform ever since. These days spend most of my time using SQL Server.
I take a look at SQL Azure today I see a lot of similarities with those early experiences, the barrier to entry is low and getting lower. I don’t have to download some software or actually install anything other than a web browser in order to get myself a fully functioning SQL Server database against which I can ostensibly start hammering out some code and I believe that to be incredibly empowering. Having said that there are still a few pretty high barriers, namely:
- I need to get out my credit card
- Its pretty useless without some development tools such as SQL Server Management Studio, which I do have to install.
The second of those barriers will disappear pretty soon when Project Houston delivers a web-based admin and presentation tool for SQL Azure so that just leaves the matter of my having to use a credit card. If Microsoft have any sense at all then they will realise the huge potential of opening up a free, throttled version of SQL Azure for newbies to party on; they get to developers early (just like they did with me all those years ago) and it gives potential customers an opportunity to try-before-they-buy.
Perhaps in 20 years time people will be talking about SQL Azure as being their first foray into the world of coding!