It used to be SQL Server Data Services. Then SQL Data Services. Then we started hearing about SQL Services, and now (I hope finally), we have Microsoft SQL Azure instead of SQL Services, and the Microsoft SQL Azure Database instead of SQL Data Services.
I think this is a sensible move. For a while now, whenever refer to SQL Services, I have to make it clear that it’s not the Windows Services that run SQL on your server, but that it’s the “in the cloud” offering that Microsoft are bringing out. Now, I can talk about SQL Azure, and it’s very clear what it means. And SQL Azure Database is clear too, as opposed to whatever will come, like (and I’m predicting here, haven’t heard anything) SQL Azure Analytics or SQL Azure Reporting.
This is definitely a positive move, and should hopefully help people realise that this is not the same as SQL Server, help them approach their SQL Azure platform slightly differently to their On-Premise equivalent.
For example… At the moment, the SQL Azure Database platform is limited in size. I hope it will soon be unlimited, but for the time being there is a limit which will affect development decisions. If your database suddenly needs to store a lot more data than you expected, you may need to hurriedly work out how you’re going to handle this. But I think having a name which reflects the Azure nature will prompt developers into making this decision earlier.
I’m looking forward to getting my hands on SQL Azure, and seeing how my job will change because of it.