Early adopters sought for platform test

Microsoft has announced it wants customers willing to test their databases in a cloud-based data connectivity project.

The testing is part of "Project Huron," a synchronization-enabled cloud data hub that's being developed as part of Microsoft's SQL Data Services project. The technology combines Microsoft's Sync Service with its SQL Data Service, all of which is hosted using Microsoft's Azure cloud-computing platform.

Microsoft is looking for early-adopter customers who will share their SQL Server or SQL Compact databases for testing purposes over the Internet cloud. Those wanting to test the service also have to have "an existing project that would warrant this functionality" -- that is, a need for data sharing.

Project Huron is designed to make it easier for multiple users to access and modify data without conflicts. Data access occurs via a publish-and-subscribe model. The synchronization feature will get the latest copy of the database from the Internet cloud, including any modifications made by other users. Changes are tracked by unique IDs, which help to avoid conflicts as users update records, according to a Microsoft video (8 MB download) that describes Project Huron.

The project seeks to address security and scalability problems associated with accessing data over the Internet. It also aims to help developers through simple user interface tools.

Project Huron will support Microsoft Access, SQL CE, SQL Express and SQL Server relational databases. It will also enable data access by remote and mobile workers, as well as business-to-business data sharing, according to Microsoft's description.

The first version of the project will not work directly with Microsoft Access. Instead, the project will use Microsoft's Sync Framework to connect with SQL Server and SQL Compact local databases.

"It is our hope that some of these Access customers will consider initially linking their Access forms to a SQL Server database to then synchronize via the cloud in the short term until we can provide the full Access support," Microsoft's Sync Framework team said.

Microsoft describes how to sign up for the Project Huron testing at its Sync Framework team blog.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is the online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group sites, including Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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