New Orleans — Microsoft’s TechEd 2010 conference opened today with a keynote address that demonstrated the current evolution of Windows Azure development, and the platform technologies that feed into it.
Microsoft delivered .NET 4.0 support on the Azure platform, complemented by new development tools for Visual Studio 2010. The tools include an object-relational mapping designer for the ADO.NET Entity Framework. Prior to its release, some developers built custom solutions.
Further, Visual Studio 2010’s IntelliTrace debugging tool now works for applications deployed in Windows Azure. Developers turn it on by selecting a checkbox.
Another tool helps developers model a database to make deployment decisions about whether to host it on SQL Azure or SQL Server, said Microsoft architect Doug Purdy. A management tool gives developers control over many instances of Azure they would like to run, as well as how many CPU cores to provision for parallel tasks.
Microsoft also announced that it had fulfilled its promise to developers to raise the storage cap on SQL Azure from 10GB. It now offers up to 50GB of storage. In addition, Microsoft added support for spatial data and data synchronization.
Developers may use Windows Server AppFabric to flow on-premise data from Active Directory and CRM systems into Windows Azure applications. The final version of AppFabric became generally available today.
Microsoft Server and Tools president Bob Muglia said that the company would work with developers to navigate compliance and regulatory issues regarding the use of data, but did not offer any specifics about how that would be done.
Microsoft also emphasized business intelligence. It released a Bing Maps SDK today that visualizes data over maps, in addition to a Silverlight-based pivot viewer. A new reporting tool enables end users to build reports from any data that is available from open data protocol services, such as Microsoft’s “Dallas.”
The company also demonstrated Windows Phone 7’s built-in SharePoint client. End users can annotate documents, which are synced with a SharePoint server. Reports built on commercial data may be shared within an organization that has SharePoint.