At the Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft revealed new details about the forthcoming launch of codename “Dallas,” the information marketplace which provides developers and other information workers the ability to find, purchase and manage datasets from one online resource. The service, powered by the Windows Azure platform, will go live in the fourth quarter of this year.
Some datasets on the service are “premium,” meaning available for a fee, but many are free of charge and will continue to be free, even after launch. It’s up to the dataset providers whether or not to charge. Currently, it its pre-launch state, Dallas offers datasets from the AP, InfoUSA, the FDA, NASA, WHO and others.
Already, over 3000 developers have set up accounts on Dallas and are using the datasets to run app that can run on Silverlight on the web as well as on mobile devices like the iPhone. For example, one of the companies using Dallas is Tableau, which was featured during a keynote at WPC this week where their visualization of UNESCO data (a heatmap) was showcased.