No OLEDB support in SQL Server post Denali


The next release of Microsoft SQL Server, codename “Denali”, will be the last release to support OLE DB. OLE DB will be supported for 7 years from launch, the life of Denali support, to allow you a large window of opportunity for changing your applications before the deprecation. This deprecation applies to the Microsoft SQL Server OLE DB provider only. Other OLE DB providers as well as the OLE DB standard will continue to be supported until explicitly announced. Read more over on the sqlnativeclient blog.

A little history:

Today there are many different ways to connect to SQL Server. What you normally require is a consumer (e.g. the ADO.NET Entity Framework) and a provider (e.g. an ADO.NET Data Provider). ADO.NET Data Providers are the most recent manifestation of providers and are the preferred way to connect to SQL Server today if your consumer is running on the Windows platform. The ADO.NET Data Provider model allows “older” providers to be consumed via modern ADO.NET clients – specifically that means ODBC and OLE DB drivers. This feature is very cool although there are now many great native ADO.NET Data Providers.

Now lets briefly recap on ODBC and OLEDB:

  • ODBC emerged around 1992. It replaced the world of DB Library, ESQL for C et al and soon became a “standard”
  • OLEDB appeared 4 years later in 1996 (which happens to be when I joined Microsoft)

OLE DB was created to be the successor to ODBC – expanding the supported data sources/models to include things other than relational databases. Notably OLEDB was tightly tied to a Windows only technology (COM) whilst ODBC was not (Although we did try and take COM cross platform via partners)

ODBC never did get replaced. What actually happened is that ODBC remained the dominant of the two technologies for many scenarios – and became increasingly used on none Windows platforms and has become the de-facto industry standard for native relational data access.

Therefore we find ourselves in a world where:

  • A new Windows client to SQL Server/SQL Azure will most likely use the ADO.NET Data Provider for SQL Server
  • A new none Windows client to SQL Server/SQL Azure will most likely use the ODBC driver for SQL Server

Notice no mention of … OLEDB.

I know many UK ISVs with older applications that do use OLEDB. Please do check out the related links below and remember this is just about the SQL Server OLEDB Provider.

Related Links

Do you think that the term Independent Software Vendor is still relevant?


Do you think in a world of html, cloud, services and startups that the term Independent Software Vendor is still relevant?

For (brief) background:

  • From Wikipedia: “Independent software vendor (ISV) is a business term for companies specializing in making or selling software, designed for mass marketing or for niche markets. Such markets may be diverse including software for real estate brokers, scheduling for healthcare personnel, barcode scanning, stock maintenance and even child care management software.”
  • Recently I have been “trying out” the term “Software Product Authors” to be a little more general.

P.S. This is also just some fun with polls – as I haven’t tried them out on wordpress yet. But I’m definitely interested in peoples views.

System Center Monitoring Pack for Windows Azure Applications


With the monitoring pack you can now check on the availability and performance of your applications running on Windows Azure from System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2.

The great news is there is a VHD you can download to try this all out with ease and check out the TechNet documentation.

After configuration, the Windows Azure Monitoring Management Pack offers the following functionality:

  • Discovers Windows Azure applications.
  • Provides status of each role instance.
  • Collects and monitors performance information.
  • Collects and monitors Windows events.
  • Collects and monitors the .NET Framework trace messages from each role instance.
  • Grooms performance, event, and the .NET Framework trace data from Windows Azure storage account.
  • Changes the number of role instances via a task

Download the pack

Related Links

Related Links:

Battlefield 3 pre-orders…


My favourite online fps series of all time is Battlefield (my favourite game of all time is Planetside – but I digress).

I’m currently playing Battlefield Bad Company 2 (mainly on PC – as erknel) whilst counting down the days to the release of Battelfield 3. I’m also keeping a watching eye on how well the pre-orders are going vs Modern Warfare 3 as having been fortunate enough to be on the BF3 alpha, BF3 deserves the commercial success that would come with toppling MW3.

Pre-orders on PC are tricky to find (with lots of digital ordering) – but its pretty easy to track for consoles, especially for America.

Which leads me to this from http://www.vgchartz.com/preorders.php.

  • On Xbox, MW3 is clearly winning – but a lot of Xbox users are spending their cash on the excellent Xbox exclusive Gears of War 3. With that in mind I think BF3 is doing great – post GOW3 it will be interesting to see how the the weekly change compares between the two games.
  • On PS3, BF3 now has a significantly higher weekly change than MW3 – 4000 more!

Sweet. Roll on October…

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FREE One Day Windows Azure Discovery Workshops – second Tues of every month


Subsequent to the September 12th workshop (which I previously blogged on ) we will be delivering Workshops every month on the second Tuesday:

  • October 11th
  • November 8th
  • December 13th
  • January 10th

These monthly workshops on the Windows Azure Platform are designed to help Microsoft partners who are developing software products and services and would like to explore the relevance and opportunities presented by the Windows Azure Platform for Cloud Computing.

Overview:

The workshops are designed to help partners such as yourself understand what the Windows Azure Platform is, how it is being used today, what resources are available and to drill into the individual technologies such as SQL Azure and Windows Azure. The intention is to ensure you leave with a good understanding of if, why, when and how you would take advantage of this exciting technology plus answers to all (or at least most!) of your questions.

Who should attend:

These workshops are aimed at technical decision makers including CTOs, Technical Directors, senior architects and developers. Attendees should be from companies who create software products or software services used by other organisations. For example Independent Software Vendors.

There are a maximum of 12 spaces per workshop and one space per partner (we can waitlist additional employees).

Format:

This format is designed to encourage discussion and feedback and ensure you get any questions you have about the Windows Azure platform answered.

Topics covered will include:

  • Understanding Microsoft’s Cloud Computing Strategy
  • Just what is the Windows Azure platform?
  • Exploring why software product authors should be in interested in the Windows Azure Platform
  • Understanding the Windows Azure Platform Pricing Model
  • How partners are using the Windows Azure platform today
  • Getting started building solutions that utilise the Windows Azure Platform
  • Drilling into the key components – Windows Azure, SQL Azure, AppFabric

Timings:

  • 09:30 Registration
  • 10:00 Workshop starts
  • 11:15 Break
  • 11:30 Workshop continues
  • 13:00 Lunch
  • 13:30 Workshop continues
  • 15:00 End (although the Microsoft team will be happy to continue the discussion…)

How to register:

If you are interested in attending, please email ukdev@microsoft.com with the following:

  • Which month
  • Your Company Name
  • Your Role
  • Why you would like to attend
  • You current knowledge/exposure to Cloud Computing and the Windows Azure Platform

Related Links:

Windows Azure limits – a reminder that they exist


Whist reading through Architecture of Tankster– Scale (Part 2) I noted that Nathan had looked at some of the performance and size limitations of the Windows Azure Platform and how they would impact the architecture of the solution. I have previously pointed at this post by the team from May 2010 which digs into Azure Storage in detail and includes details on limits etc.

In Nathans case he needed to work within the following:

A single Windows Azure storage account has the following scalability targets:

  • Storage Capacity: Up to 100 TBs
  • Transactions: Up to 5,000 entities/messages/blobs per second
  • Bandwidth: Up to 3 gigabits per second

A single Windows Azure queue:

  • Bandwidth: Up to 500 messages per second

A single blob:

  • Bandwidth: Up to 60 megabytes per second.

Related Links: