Microsoft Premieres Social Web Data API for Windows Azure
The social web is growing. In an effort to help ISVs integrate that data into business applications, Microsoft Azure Labs is demoing a new Social Analytics API for the SQL Azure cloud, codenamed Project Vancouver.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you Microsoft Silverlight kept crashing on my system, so I couldn’t get a good look at the Project Vancouver website. Maybe you’ll have better luck.
But in the meantime, Mary Jo Foley at All About Microsoft has my back with details, taken from the page:
“Our goal is to enable businesses to build connections and communities among customers, influencers, and their employees; to support customer needs for high value information guided by peers and experts/influencers; to engage in conversations and respond to buzz around hot topics; and to make the voice of community actionable across the product lifecycle.”
The offering apparently comes with an SQL Azure “engagement client” that’s essentially your garden-variety Twitter client, with a built-in ability to correlate topics across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs and so on. The example data sets include Windows 8 and Bill Gates. The Microsoft Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket now includes APIs, built on the Open Data Protocol, for building this information into applications.
Probably the best part? It’s free, at least for the moment. If Microsoft ever starts to charge for Project Vancouver, we’ll let you know, but while it’s in the preview phase, you don’t have to pay a cent.