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The SQL Azure Federation support, which allows databases to be scaled elastically by using a sharding database pattern, is described by Microsoft as being able to "make it dramatically easier to set up sharding, automate the process of adding new shards, and provide significant new functionality for easily managing database shards."
Updates to Microsoft's Office 365, SQL Azure and Dynamics CRM Online Services are due to be updated this fall. As Microsoft gets ready for its announcement, developers are eager for details about the updates, which include support for SQL Azure Federation, Windows LiveID support and Social activity feeds.