Yesterday I came out from the customer plant (in Belgium) at 11:00PM and I spent the time before going to sleep looking to a very interesting webcast from Pablo Castro on Astoria (2007 SAF Forum: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/architecture/bb267380.aspx).
The technology is very attractive but in real world I see a range of application just when youo don't care about performances and locking issues or when the data-sources are mainly read-only.
For example it's very powerfullin a scenario in which you could have an element manager (industrial plants, TLC network devices, etc.) on an RDBMS and you need to combine these reference information with other data-sources (i.e. WMI, SNMP, statistic etc.). Astoria it's a strong tool to publish and integrate etherogeneus data, making them easy to be consumed by supporting tools or SLA dashboard in a very easy way, decoupling the consumer from the business service. It's strong in scenarios when you need to continuosly update quick and smart tools as business requirements changes (OBA ???).