How ADO.NET Data Services came to be (formerly known as Project Astoria)
Pablo Castro has recounted some of his timelined memories about how "Project Astoria" evolved from a lunch time conversation to bits in .NET 3.5 SP1 and Visual Studio 2008 SP1 now known as ADO.NET Data Services Framework). Nice write up.
Three memories of my own to add to the story:
1. I was reading up on the whole REST thing in the summer of 2006 - its origins, philosophy and design patterns. I knew there was something interesting going on and some potential dots to join, but I wasn't sure which dots...So I collated and circulated a bunch of research / links to the team, then blogged the links (I liked How I explained REST to my wife. More recently see Explaining REST to Damien Katz). I got a few proverbial (and some literal) blank stares as I shared my enthusiasm for REST, asking how we could apply the ideas to the various projects we were working on. It was Pablo, and (as Pablo attests) Britt Johnston (now a PUM for SQL Business) who were able to develop the initial conceptual leaps into something more concrete like a Think Week Paper and a prototype demo.
2. When it came to brainstorming the code name, the team agreed on a "cloud" theme. A number of proposals were floated around along with their rationales, including "cumulus" and "cirrus". We were then advised that city and town code names were legal-safe. So there we were, struggling to agree on some city or town name we all liked (or at least not hate nor be confused by..."how about Nameless?"...), and then Mike Pizzo's proposal came in: "Astoria - hey, it's the cloudiest city in the USA!" (at least it was in 2006). Sold.
3. I think my favorite memory of all is the reaction Gary Flake provided (of Microsoft's Live Labs) to the prototype Pablo demo'd at one of the pitch meetings: "As God himself would have designed it!" Dr Flake exclaimed..."Cool", I thought to myself - "but does that mean no REST for the wicked?"