Andy Conrad, who I used to work with back on the XML team, has two blog posts about Project Astoria and Project Jasper from Microsoft's Data Programmability team. Both projects are listed as data access incubation projects on MSDN. Below are the descriptions of the projects

Project Codename “Astoria”
The goal of Microsoft Codename Astoria is to enable applications to expose data as a
data service that can be consumed by web clients within a corporate network and across the internet. The data service is reachable over regular HTTP requests, and standard HTTP verbs such as GET, POST, PUT and DELETE are used to perform operations against the service. The payload format for the service is controllable by the application, but all options are simple, open formats such as plan XML and JSON. Web-friendly technologies make Astoria an ideal data back-end for AJAX-style applications, and other applications that need to operate against data that is across the web.

To learn more about Project Astoria or download the CTP, visit the Project Astoria website at http://astoria.mslivelabs.com.

Project Codename “Jasper”
Project Jasper is geared towards iterative and agile development. You can start interacting with the data in your database without having to create mapping files or define classes. You can build user interfaces by naming controls according to your model without worrying about binding code. Project Jasper is also extensible, allowing you to provide your own business logic and class model. Since Project Jasper is built on top of the ADO.NET Entity Framework, it supports rich queries and complex mapping.

To learn more about Project Jasper visit the ADO.NET Blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/adonet

I was called in a few weeks ago by an architect on the Data Programmability team to give some advice about Project Astoria. The project is basically a way to create RESTful endpoints on top of a SQL Server database then retrieve the relational data as plain XML, JSON or a subset of RDF+XML using HTTP requests. The reason I was called in was to give some of my thoughts on exposing relational data as RSS/Atom feeds. My feedback was that attempting to map arbitrary relational data to RSS/Atom feeds seemed unnatural and was bordering on abuse of an XML syndication format. Although this feature was not included in the Project Astoria CTP, it seems that mapping relational data to RSS/Atom feeds is still something the team thinks is interesting based on the Project Astoria FAQ. You can find out more in the Project Astoria overview documentation.  

REST is totally sweeping Microsoft.


 

Wednesday, May 2, 2007 2:24:15 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Dare,

REST is totally sweeping Microsoft for good reasons. I love Astoria, it is exactly what I've been advocating on my blog for a long time now... right since these two posts:
http://www.base4.net/blog.aspx?ID=36
http://www.base4.net/blog.aspx?ID=39

I've been banging on about this stuff for anyone who would listen for ages now under the moniker "Data2.0" hardly original I know, but fitting.

Alex
Wednesday, May 2, 2007 12:56:19 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
...Dare comments that "REST is totally sweeping Microsoft", and gives some interesting background about being called in to advise the Astoria team how to expose relational data over RSS/Atom?...
Wednesday, May 2, 2007 1:28:48 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
re. "map arbitrary relational data to RSS/Atom feeds seemed unnatural" - for completely arbitrary data I'd agree, but there is a lot of stuff that can be mapped usefully onto a sequence of timestamped items. Plenty of prior art around RDF ;-)
Wednesday, May 2, 2007 1:43:46 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Danny,
The potential contents of a relational database falls under completely arbitrary data. So I guess we are in agreement. :)
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