SQL Azure Lessons Learned: Telerik

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Telerik is one of the more popular component vendors building good stuff for ASP.NET, Silverlight, and WPF.  I was intrigued by the interest they have taken in the Windows Azure Platform.  Naturally all the UI components just work on the platform with no changes required.  Telerik has gone further in looking at how they can adapt their Object Relational Mapper (ORM) and Content Management System (CMS) technologies to take advantage of the benefits of Azure.

Stephen Forte is their Chief Strategy Officer (love that title Smiley) responsible for thinking about their new technology directions.  In this episode of Lessons Learned, Stephen shows me how they’re now able to go from SQL Azure tables to persistent classes when developing applications using their OpenAccess ORM product.

The process of implementing a SQL Azure provider for OpenAccess was fairly straightforward.  Telerik ran unit tests of their existing SQL Server provider against SQL Azure to find the differences.  They found the few minor issues and were able to get a working version running in three weeks or so.

The biggest difference they found between SQL Server and SQL Azure was the data types.  SQL Azure supports most of the SQL Server data types but some (like spatial, text, etc) are not supported.  Another difference was multiple active result sets (MARS).  This one was a little trickier and with some work they were able to get the same end-result using different t-sql.

The OpenAccess ORM product is available now.  Telerik is also dogfooding it internally using another of their products: Sitefinity CMS.  The next release of Sitefinity will then support SQL Azure as a data store.

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