Essential Guide

Evolution of Windows Azure SQL Database

Gain insight into the development of Windows Azure SQL Database, tracing it from its basic cloud database beginnings to its latest incarnation -- an infrastructure with a growing set of user-friendly features.

Introduction

Many large companies have been hesitant about moving data and systems to the cloud, citing concerns about security, availability and expediency. Windows Azure SQL Database, the renamed version of SQL Azure, is Microsoft's cloud database service, and it has become an essential component of Windows Azure. According to experts, if database administrators (DBAs) continue to follow standard security practices, businesses can still maintain control of data, even in the SQL Azure cloud. In fact, the Azure cloud computing platform includes built-in security measures, including a strong firewall.

Developments in SQL Azure Federations enable companies to scale out, improving storage and accessibility for larger and larger quantities of data. With Windows Azure SQL Database, Microsoft is aspiring to provide an infrastructure for petabyte-sized big data, expanding beyond the basic cloud database service. And while it offers support for high availability, fault tolerance and data synchronization, SQL Azure falls short in some areas as well. For example, it does not include the whole set of T-SQL extensions. Also, reporting, outbound data and other services incur additional charges.

This guide offers a comprehensive look at Windows Azure SQL Database, exploring its beginnings and the evolution of its features. The stories below examine the benefits and drawbacks of SQL Azure, offer insider tips for managing this technology and discuss early best practice recommendations.

1New features-

Becoming Windows Azure SQL Database

While Microsoft's database in the cloud, formerly known as SQL Azure, is not new, it continues to change and add new features. Now known as Windows Azure SQL Database, this evolving technology offers a scaling service called SQL Azure Federations. The articles in this section discuss the pros and cons of Windows Azure SQL Database and offer tips on how to get the most out of the services it offers.

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Windows Azure SQL Database: Examining the positives

This article offers a discussion of the most crucial advantages of using SQL Azure. Continue Reading

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On second thought: Looking at Azure SQL Database's downsides

Azure SQL Database may not be the best choice for everyone. This article examines the cons. Continue Reading

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How to achieve high scalability with Windows Azure SQL Database

Learn how to scale out your database with Microsoft's SQL Database Federations service. Continue Reading

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Using T-SQL in SQL Azure Federations

This first of a two-part series looks at using T-SQL for creating federated tables and migrating data from on-premises SQL Server. Continue Reading

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Understanding split root tables in SQL Azure Federations

In part two, the author explains splitting the federation root member table, the last step in the T-SQL management of SQL Azure Federations. Continue Reading

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Comparing SQL Server and SQL Azure

Learn about SQL Server features that SQL Azure is compatible with and the five functions you won't find in SQL Azure. Continue Reading

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Microsoft SQL Azure: Expedite execution times

The author offers tips for reducing performance lag time and sustaining cost-efficiency with cloud-based databases in this article. Continue Reading

2Migration and management-

Tips for migrating to and managing SQL Azure

Migrating to SQL Azure and maintaining security are relatively easy. Most IT departments can manage its many functions while enhancing business intelligence by taking advantage of tips and tools available. These stories offer advice for better migration and management, as well as workarounds that address limitations in earlier incarnations of SQL Azure.

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Don't worry, DBAs: SQL Azure Database easy to manage

Learn what it takes to manage the SQL Azure Database platform. Continue Reading

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Making synchronization work with Data Sync

A technical consultant discusses how to perform management tasks in SQL Azure Data Sync. Continue Reading

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Three steps for improved SQL Azure migration

Choose the right tool, load data into SQL Azure correctly and assess your progress for a smooth SQL Azure migration. Continue Reading

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Why IT needs not fear SQL Azure security

This article explores how SQL Azure security concerns are not terribly different from security concerns with traditional server-based SQL Server. Continue Reading

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Improve business intelligence with SQL Azure Reporting

Learn about the report-hosting and rendering service built on the Windows Azure platform, SQL Azure Reporting. Continue Reading

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Industry players take interest in SQL Azure cloud computing

Enterprise customers are more hesitant than independent software vendors when it comes to SQL Azure cloud computing. This article explains why. Continue Reading

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Learning the workarounds to SQL Azure limitations

This article discusses basic SQL Azure limitations and offers workarounds to resolve short-term issues. Continue Reading

3Azure SQL early on-

Exploring SQL Azure capabilities and development

Windows Azure SQL Database began as a basic cloud database technology, and many developers found that several familiar aspects of SQL Server development did not work with Azure in its first version. The articles in this section look at SQL Azure features such as Data Sync and SQL Azure Migration Wizard, offering perspectives from early users of this technology.

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Tips on Azure for the reluctant DBA

For organizations adopting the SQL Azure Database, this article explains what the reluctant database administrator needs to know. Continue Reading

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Using SSIS packages for scheduled tasks in SQL Azure

Learn how to execute a scheduled task in SQL Azure the simple way: Use a local SQL Agent to execute a SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) package on the SQL Azure server. Continue Reading

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Migrating SQL Azure: To the cloud and back

This first in a two-part series on SQL Azure migration and synchronization examines options for moving data. Continue Reading

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Synchronizing data with SQL Azure

In the second of this two-part series, learn about more complex data exchange scenarios, including data synchronization and refreshing data in SQL Azure while maintaining availability. Continue Reading

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Best practices for SQL Azure Database

This article explores the differences in the architecture and features between SQL Server technology and SQL Azure, and how best to address them. Continue Reading

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SQL Azure development: Q&A with MS developer

Follow along with SQL Azure developments in this interview, which delves into SQL Azure Data Sync and other functionalities. Continue Reading

4Glossary-

Glossary of SQL Azure terms

Review these definitions to enhance your understanding of SQL Azure.

5Quiz-

SQL Azure Quiz

How well do you know Windows Azure SQL Database? Take this brief quiz and test your knowledge.

Take the quiz!