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Jamie Thomson

This is the blog of Jamie Thomson, a freelance data mangler in London

Weekend reading: Microsoft/Oracle and SkyDrive based code-editor

A couple of news item caught my eye this weekend that I think are worthy of comment.

Microsoft/Oracle partnership to be announced tomorrow (24/06/2013)

According to many news site Microsoft and Oracle are about to announce a partnership (Oracle set for major Microsoft, Salesforce, Netsuite partnerships) and they all seem to be assuming that it will be something to do with “the cloud”. I wouldn’t disagree with that assessment, Microsoft are heavily pushing Azure and Oracle seem (to me anyway) to be rather lagging behind in the cloud game. More specifically folks seem to be assuming that Oracle’s forthcoming 12c database release will be offered on Azure.

I did a bit of reading about Oracle 12c and one of its key pillars appears to be that it supports multi-tenant topologies and multi-tenancy is a common usage scenario for databases in the cloud. I’m left wondering then, if Microsoft are willing to push a rival’s multi-tenant solution what is happening to its own cloud-based multi-tenant offering – SQL Azure Federations. We haven’t heard anything about federations for what now seems to be a long time and moreover the main Program Manager behind the technology, Cihan Biyikoglu, recently left Microsoft to join Twitter. Furthermore, a Principle Architect for SQL Server, Conor Cunningham, recently presented the opening keynote at SQLBits 11 where he talked about multi-tenant solutions on SQL Azure and not once did he mention federations. All in all I don’t have a warm fuzzy feeling about the future of SQL Azure Federations so I hope that that question gets asked at some point following the Microsoft/Oracle announcement.


Text Editor on SkyDrive with coding-specific features

Liveside.net got a bit of a scoop this weekend with the news (Exclusive: SkyDrive.com to get web-based text file editing features) that Microsoft’s consumer-facing file storage service is going to get a new feature – a web-based code editor. Here’s Liveside’s screenshot:

I’ve long had a passing interest in online code editors, indeed back in December 2009 I wondered out loud on this blog site:

I started to wonder when the development tools that we use would also become cloud-based. After all, if we’re using cloud-based services does it not make sense to have cloud-based tools that work with them? I think it does.
Project Houston

Since then the world has moved on. Cloud 9 IDE (https://c9.io/) have blazed a trail in the fledgling world of online code editors and I have been wondering when Microsoft were going to start playing catch-up. I had no doubt that an online code editor was in Microsoft’s future; its an obvious future direction, why would I want to have to download and install a bloated text editor (which, arguably, is exactly what Visual Studio amounts to) and have to continually update it when I can simply open a web browser and have ready access to all of my code from wherever I am. There are signs that Microsoft is already making moves in this direction, after all the URL for their new offering Team Foundation Service doesn’t mention TFS at all – my own personalised URL for Team Foundation Service is http://jamiet.visualstudio.com – using “Visual Studio” as the domain name for a service that isn’t strictly speaking part of Visual Studio leads me to think that there’s a much bigger play here and that one day http://visualstudio.com will house an online code editor.

With that in mind then I find Liveside’s revelation rather intriguing, why would a code editing tool show up in Skydrive? Perhaps SkyDrive is going to get integrated more tightly into TFS, I’m very interested to see where this goes.

The larger question playing on my mind though is whether an online code editor from Microsoft will support SQL Server developers. I have opined before (see The SQL developer gap) about the shoddy treatment that SQL Server developers have to experience from Microsoft and I haven’t seen any change in Microsoft’s attitude in the three and a half years since I wrote that post. I’m constantly bewildered by the lack of investment in SQL Server developer productivity compared to the riches that are lavished upon our appdev brethren. When you consider that SQL Server is Microsoft’s third biggest revenue stream it is, frankly, rather insulting. SSDT was a step in the right direction but the hushed noises I hear coming out of Microsoft of late in regard to SSDT don’t bode fantastically well for its future.

So, will an online code editor from Microsoft support T-SQL development? I have to assume not given the paucity of investment on us lowly SQL Server developers over the last few years, but I live in hope!


Your thoughts in the comments section please. I would be very interested in reading them.

@Jamiet

Published Sunday, June 23, 2013 11:53 PM by jamiet

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Frank Szendzielarz said:

I would guess that these endeavours are related to the Cloud App Model for Office and Sharepoint development. There already is an online development tool from MS called NAPA, but apparently one of its major limitations is lack of support for versioning. (http://nikspatel.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/my-first-experience-with-napa-office-365-development-tools/)

I wonder if these skydrive extensions are related to this.

June 24, 2013 3:20 AM
 

Jake said:

My only concern would be around security. I remember the security concerns around Azure when it first came about. Not completely elieviated for me I'm honest, but things needed to move in the industry direction.

June 28, 2013 10:31 AM
 

richard said:

July 23, 2013 11:50 PM

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