Getting Started with SQL Azure

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman specializes in cloud computing and the Windows Azure Platform.

What is the best way for a developer to get started with SQL Azure?

The getting started page for SQL Azure, http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/developers/sqlazure, has a lot of great information.  You will find links here to white papers, training, tools, and account information.  In order to obtain a token that will enable you to create SQL databases on SQL Azure, you will need to sign up for an account, or use the account associated with your Windows Azure projects.   Redeeming tokens and administrating your SQL Azure account (such as creating your databases) is done at http://sql.azure.com, the SQL Azure Portal.

Understanding what is currently different about SQL Azure than a typical on-premise SQL Server is a must.  There is a white paper on the similarities and differences of SQL Azure and SQL Server.  You can also get detailed information at MSDN.

A couple things I can call out that currently aren’t supported in the cloud are:

  • support for Full-text search
  • support for SQL Jobs (SQLAgent is not running)
  • support for Windows Authentication (SQL Authentication only).
  • support for Distributed Transactions (MSDTC)

Once you have your databases created in the cloud, how can you connect?  Connecting to the database in SQL Server Management Studio is not supported yet, but there is a workaround currently for being able to open a query window to your database.  Check out this post for the workaround.

As far as importing data, the use of scripts, SSIS packages, or the new SQL Azure Sync capabilities are the current options.

More to come on managing your SQL Azure projects…

– Joel

Follow Joel on Twitter: @seattlejoel.

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About Joel Forman
Joel Forman is a Solution Architect at Slalom Consulting and specializes in cloud computing and the Windows Azure Platform.

One Response to Getting Started with SQL Azure

  1. Pingback: Storing Data on the Windows Azure Platform « SlalomWorks

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