As usual, Microsoft forgot to brief me, but Mary Jo Foley reports on Microsoft SQL Server Data Services. A look at the official site clarifies that this database-in-a-cloud offering uses “Microsoft SQL Server as a data storage node.” However, there seems to be a software layer on top of SQL Server providing scale-out and appropriate management.
In addition to the more-than-SQL-Server layer, there seems to be a less-than-SQL-Server aspect as well. In a particular, Microsoft SQL Server Data Services boasts “Support for simple types: string, numeric, datetime, boolean.” XML is the “primary wire format,” and hints dropped about the schema philosophy sound XMLish too.
Interestingly, Foley reports that Microsoft plans to offer an on-premises version of Microsoft SQL Server Data Services as well.