Pinpoint is an enterprise level cloud based application store for developers using the Azure cloud. Dallas, a subset of Pinpoint, is Microsoft’s “information marketplace,” offering data sets for developers to use inside of their Azure applications.
Dallas is a very exciting development in the Azure family, opening up blocks of information to all comers, freeing it from obscurity and perhaps higher pricing. Current featured data sets in Dallas include image sets from the Nasa Mars Rover, and data from the Associated Press.
Of course, not all data sets will be free, but to have them open for purchase is a step in the right direction. I talked with the Dallas team, and sadly data from Twitter is not part of Dallas. They had no immediate comment as to the possibility of Twitter becoming part of the program.
If however, Dallas managed to broker a deal with Twitter to sell parts, or the whole Twitter firehose, Dallas would overnight become one of the most important products that Microsoft offers.
Pinpoint has a larger vision, giving a selling platform to apps built on Azure. One of the top rated apps in the Pinpoint marketplace is a hosted version of Microsoft Dynamics, bringing enterprise level CRM to all comers. Pinpoint is a very high level part of Azure, think of it as the most consumer friendly part of the product.
People use Azure, build applications on the platform, and then offer them in Pinpoint. Dallas on the other hand is sold through Pinpoint, but is aimed at developers looking to use the data, as opposed to consumers.
The progression of data and services to the cloud seems to have been the focus of Microsoft today, here at the PDC. Hordes of blue shirted Azure team members are constantly moving about, answering questions, and they have one of the largest floor setups in the “big room.”
For today at least, cloud computing with Azure is the hottest thing in Microsoft-ville.