Saturday, August 30, 2008

SSDS and Other Windows Cloud Services Should Have Their Own Blogs

Ayende Rahien (a.k.a. Israeli .NET developer Oren Eini) contends in his Does you application has a blog? post of August 29, 2008 that applications should have blogs that report on “interesting events” that occur during their operation. Not blogs by developers or operations staffers about applications, but blogs authored by the application itself.

Ayende offers an Order Management example blog and says:

From the point of view of the system as a whole, now business users have a way to watch what the system is doing, check on status updates, etc. More than that, you can now use this as a way to post reports (weekly summary, for example) and in general vastly increase the visibility of the system. …

Now, this is explicitly not a place where you want to put technical details. This should be reserved to some other system, this is a high level overview on what the system is doing. Posts are built to be human readable and human sounding, to avoid boring the readers and to ensure that people actually use this.

Soumitra Sengupta mentioned during his Tech*Ed 2008 North America interview by Greg Hughes that the SQL Server Data Services (SSDS) team planned to use SQL Server Analysis Services and Reporting Services to keep users up to date on the services’ overall performance as well as usage and performance statistics for individual authorities.

Such reports seem to me to be ideally suited for transmission in the form of public and private blog posts with the appropriate Atom/RSS feeds. Adding a bit of Business Intelligence (BI) in the form of trend analysis and anomaly detection would also benefit users.

Similar autogenerated blogs would be equally useful for Biztalk Services Online, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Dynamics CRM Online.