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Microsoft Closing Azure DataMarket

Citing a lack of customer interest, Microsoft said it's closing down its six-year-old Azure DataMarket, a place where developers could access data services to power apps and analytic projects.

When it was launched in October 2010, Azure DataMarket acted like an app store, presenting data services exposed via OData APIs, with ties to Visual Studio, wherein data devs could leverage service references to the OData APIs in order to more easily consume datasets.

Its site describes it as a "one-stop shop for premium data and applications," featuring "hundreds of apps, thousands of subscriptions, trillions of data points."

Apparently that wasn't enough. The company will cancel all orders placed through DataMarket on March 31, 2017.

"We're retiring DataMarket because we're not seeing the sustained customer interest in DataMarket to enable us to continue with this marketplace," Microsoft said in an e-mail to data developers yesterday.

Furthermore, the company told developers:

  • If you subscribed to a free service, access will end at the end of March 2017.
  • If you purchased a Finished SaaS app, access will end at the end of March 2017, and you will be refunded for any unused days of your final bill.
  • If you subscribed to a paid data service, access will end on the last day of your billing cycle that began in March 2017 (for example, if you were billed on March 25, 2017, your service access would end on April 25, 2017). After this date, our portal will be retired and the service will no longer be available.

Yesterday's e-mail to DataMarket subscribers was apparently a follow-up to an earlier announcement sent to DataMarket publishers, as the DataMarket forum features an Aug. 26 post from a DataMarket publisher asking about a message he received saying the market would be shuttered on March 31 of next year. The issue is confusing, however, as a Microsoft representative asked the publisher to provide the e-mail so the rep could "check and confirm."

The publisher, Mike McIver, provided this in response:

Because you're a valued publisher, we wanted you to be the first to know of some upcoming changes. Since the launch of DataMarket in 2010, we've introduced two new marketplaces that are having more mainstream momentum and benefit for customers and publishers alike: Azure Marketplace (launched in July 2014) and AppSource (for SaaS business apps, launched in July 2016). Going forward, we'll be focusing our efforts on these two marketplaces in order to best serve the community. As such, we'll be retiring DataMarket on March 31, 2017.

Further responses to the question simply point to an FAQ, which features this item:

How does the new Azure Marketplace impact Microsoft's existing partner offerings in the Azure Store and former Microsoft Azure Marketplace (Azure DataMarket)?
At Microsoft Cloud Briefing in San Francisco, CA Scott Guthrie announced the Azure Marketplace, an online applications and services marketplace that connects startups and independent software vendors (ISVs) with Azure customers around the world.

Following the announcement, we started the process to integrate offerings from Azure Store and former Microsoft Azure Marketplace (Azure DataMarket) to the new Azure Marketplace to create a unified ecosystem for our customers and partners. This will improve existing experiences and make it easier to search, purchase and deploy a wide range of solutions.

Microsoft didn't offer a company alternative to DataMarket subscribers in its e-mail yesterday, simply saying: "If you want to continue with a comparable service, we recommend that you reach out to your specific data provider to explore suitable alternatives."

Certain links pointing to the DataMarket now bring up an Azure Marketplace site that states "a better Azure Marketplace" is coming soon. "We're building a new unified online store for pre-configured Azure software, tools, and data -- and need to move some things around," the site says. "Until the dust settles, here's where to find everything."

We have a media inquiry into Microsoft and will update this article with any new information received.

About the Author

David Ramel is editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine and Application Development Trends Magazine.

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