The Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket currently supplies two live OData streams and a Social Analytics’ API that incorporate sentiment data about Windows 8 or Bill Gates. I wrote a downloadable Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Windows application that retrieves, displays and summarizes data from the Windows 8 data feed (see Figure 1). This app required almost 500 lines of C# code to generate, display and save the summary data as a comma-separated value (CSV) text file. It took me about a day to code and test; it's probably too complex for most "citizen developers" to program.
Microsoft touts Codename “Data Explorer” (DE) as a way for ordinary PC users to automatically discover data available to download from the Windows Azure Marketplace; enrich data by combining it in mashups with related data from the Marketplace, Web, databases and other data types; and publish results from cloud-based workspaces stored in Windows Azure. DE also is an easily approachable, composable extract-transform-load (ETL) tool that provides many of the capabilities of SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) without the long learning curve. DE provides a set of tools to manipulate data resources in the sequence you specify (see Figure 2).
Data Explorer lets you emulate a complex set of procedural operations on tabular data, such as those needed to display source data and aggregate the daily buzz and sentiment values shown in Figure 1, by applying tools to resources. The goal of the Data Explorer Mashup is to emulate the Windows client of Figure 1 with a declarative mashup created in a simple UI that is targeted at "citizen developers."
You can open my public Shared Workspace with live data, as shown in Figure 3, and download the Data Explorer Mashup with live data from the codename “Social Analytics” site on Window Azure to use as a starting point in creating the advanced mashup with summary data. You’ll need an Account Key, which you receive when you use your invitation to sign up for DE, to download the Social Analytics data.
Give Codename “Data Explorer” a test drive with the 41-step, illustrated tutorial on creating a mashup from the Setup and Deployment link. I’m sure you’ll agree that the DE team has a killer big data tool in progress.
Credit: Much of the preceding description was taken from my "Microsoft cloud service lets citizen developers crunch big data" article of January 24, 2012 for the SearchCloudComputing.com, which you can open from the "White Paper" link.
Microsoft Codename "Data Explorer" Mashup with "Social Analytics" Data has not been reviewed by any customers.
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