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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft “Data Explorer” – Discover, Enrich, Publish Data

Microsoft “Data Explorer” – Discover, Enrich, Publish Data

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Microsoft announced a new Cloud Service codenamed “Data Explorer”, to be available by November. With this service, you can manage related data from disparate data sources, combine and curate data and then share results with others. The service also works with Azure data market and Bing to make third party datasets available wherever relevant.

The Data Explorer team published a blog post explaining several features through a user-scenario. Some of the things a user can do are -

  • Pull data from various sources (Excel Spreadsheets, files, SQL Azure Databases, Office 365, SkyDrive, etc.)
  • Analysis – for e.g., about how complete the data is and what actions could be taken to complete it
  • Discover relevant third-party datasets from Windows Azure Data Market and Bing through automated recommendations
  • Mash up related data into a single dataset
  • Publish the result for sharing with others

The main workflow is mashing up the data, which is explained in another blog post.

It does seem that “Data Explorer” is targeted mainly towards information workers and not software developers. However, it should also provide an environment for exploring various datasets when designing applications that depend on multiple data sources. Also this should pose interesting choices for developers to try and incorporate these built-in reporting capabilities into the application workflow rather than developing these features from scratch.

The Data Explorer team is already expecting sign-ups and will be issuing invitations in November for a preview.

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