Bernie Cook's Blog

Azure, C#, .NET, Architecture & Related Tech News

3 Useful SQL Azure Tools

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Over the last two years I’ve used a number of Azure tools to assist in maintaining several SaaS applications in Microsoft’s cloud environment. I’ve dedicated this article to several which I use in conjunction with SQL Azure. All of these are free, granted you have a Windows Azure account.

1. SQL Azure Migration Wizard – CodePlex

I’ve been using this tool from since the Azure beta to deploy SQL updates. It requires a bit more manual effort than Red Gates SQL Compare, and doesn’t have the nice interface, but it doesn’t cost anything.

It’s primary aim is to generate scripts that are SQL Azure compatible – which is something that’s missing from SQL Server Management Studio.

In addition to generating scripts for the purpose of migration it also analyses SQL Profiler trace files.

2. SQL Azure Backup – Red Gate

If programs were people I’d want this particular application to be my best friend. It:

  • Copies SQL Azure databases to your local SQL server environment
  • Copies SQL Azure databases to a storage account
  • Offers command line support so you can schedule or automate backups
  • It’s free

When you start up this application the first thing you’ll see is a notice that alerts you to the costs involved with backing up your SQL Azure database. So even though the application is free there is a very, very minor cost that you’ll be billed due to related transaction and data transfer costs.

3. Windows Azure Management Portal – Microsoft

Yes I know this is packaged in with a Windows Azure account but it still has a handy set of SQL Azure features.

There is the import facility, which has been around for sometime, and as of Jan 2012 there is a new export facility – basically it exports your database out as a BACPAC file.

It’s worth keeping an eye out for new features in the management portal as sometimes they’re not broadcasted so well upon release.

Final Note

As with all things Azure changes are made quite frequently so it’s worth keeping an eye out for the latest version of the tools mentioned above.

Good luck.

Author: Bernie

I currently live and work in the UK, just outside of London. I've been working in IT for 15+ years and in that time have solved many technical problems via blogs, forums, tutorials etc. and feel like I should be giving something back. This blog post is my way of contributing and I hope it proves just as useful to others as their contributions have to me.

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