My blog has been silent for a while as I have been switching focus and moved from the Windows Networking group to the Data Programmability (DP) group in the SQL Server division at MS. Currently, my main area of focus in DP is the Astoria project. For an detailed overview of Astoria, please see our team blog here. In short, Astoria is about providing simple and efficient data services for todays web-enabled applicatoins: The new wave of web applications are built on technologies such as AJAX and Microsoft Silverlight that enable developers to build better, richer user experiences. These technologies bring a shift in how applications are organized, including a stronger separation of presentation from data. The goal of Astoria is to enable applications to expose data as a data service that can be consumed by web clients within a corporate network and across the internet. The data service is reachable over HTTP, and URIs are used to identify the various pieces of information available through the service. Interaction with the data service happens in terms of HTTP verbs such as GET, POST, PUT and DELETE, and the data exchanged in those interactions is represented in simple formats such as XML and JSON."
The components that make up the Astoria project are:
- A set of downloadable bits that you can run on your web server to create you own Astoria services
- A .net framework and Silverlight 1.1 client library that raise the abstraction from simple HTTP requests
- An experimental online service (just released) that allows you to create your own 100MB Astoria data service hosted by us
One of the interesting pieces of the Astoria design cycle is that we plan to be as transparent as possible. Pablo, the Tech Lead on the team, explains what we mean by this pretty well on his blog. He states:
"The technology and needs in the web space are broad and move fast. As we are building technology for that space with Project Astoria, we wanted to make sure we do it in a way that works well with the nature of the environment and the developer community we are targeting. One of the things we'll try is to be as transparent as possible with the design process. Our plan is that as we discuss design issues in our design meetings, we will post the discussions on the Astoria Team blog as well. Not just the conclusions, but the discussions themselves, even before we made a call. We were also thinking of posting our regular meeting notes publicly as well."