Taking the Azure SQL Database row-level security preview for a spin

The security announcements around Azure SQL Database keep coming. Auditing was implemented a few months ago, and today it was followed by a preview of row-level security. There were also announcements around transparent data encryption (TDE) and a new dynamic data masking feature in future but these aren’t available, even in preview, yet. The row-level […]

Azure SQL Database V12 Preview – Spatial Fully Functional

Yesterday’s blog post about Azure SQL Database V12 mentioned that one of the features I was particularly interested in seeing/testing were the spatial features. Interestingly, this was not even mentioned as an enhancement in the technical “What’s New” page. This may be due to the fact that the only place where a list of the […]

Not a “me-too announcement” blog on Azure SQL Database V12 preview

In general, I usually hate “me too” announcement blog posts. Over the years, I’ve considered it less than useful to simply repeat “Product XXX released to RTM” when nice marketing/technical announcements have already been posted for the folks that are responsible. Or even to rehash books online pages, as another example. In keeping with that […]

New Azure services and evolution of the Service/SQL Server relationship

Today, two new service offerings for the Azure platform were introduced, DocumentDB and Azure Search. These are exciting in themselves and worth a look-see but, to me, they are also occurrences of the phasing out of the “database as an application server” concept, formalized in the SQL Server 2005 timeframe. At least, in the cloud. […]

Don’t drop empty Azure SQL Database servers

In a previous blog entry, I mentioned changes in SQL Azure Database’s new tiers. Another one, that I think is indirectly related to the new tiers, is the disappearance of a message that used to appear (on the portal) when you deleted the last database on a particular Azure SQL Database server. That message asked […]

A few tweaks to Azure SQL Database’s new tiers

One of the things that make Azure SQL Database difficult to keep track of is that details of some database behaviors can change, usually without notice or announcement. There were supposed to be announcements on one of the Azure blogs, but that hasn’t happened for Azure SQL Database in over a year, except for the […]

Extended Events In Azure SQL Database. For real.

UPDATE: Last month (Sept 2015), Extended Events (not just the metadata that I wrote about) are officially available in Azure SQL Database!! For more information, here’s the main documentation article. I’ve just returned home after teaching two weeks of SQLskills Immersion Events. Total post-event exhaustion for two days. Trying to produce some nice demos on […]

Last week in Azure SQL Database – Part 5 – Wrapup

This post contains miscellaneous information about the current/future state of Azure SQL Database (AST). You know I couldn’t write just one more blog post when I said I would in Part3, didn’t ya’? This post has some properties of a rant in some places, but I’m genuinely interested. I try not to judge technologies, just […]

Last week in Azure SQL Database – Part 4 – Performance Levels

In this post I’ll address perhaps the most important of all the announcements, performance levels. The 6 new ASD tiers provide different levels of performance and different resource guarentees/reservations. There is a chart here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/azure/dn741340.aspx that lists performance levels (among other things) and there is a different chart here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/dn741336.aspx that gives more details on […]

Last week in Azure SQL Database – Part 3 – HADR preview service for premium

This post is about a new SQL Azure Database feature called a “Business Continuity Feature”, called “Disaster recovery/geo-replication”. This feature was announced last week as a preview. For the Premium tiers, this is a lovely feature that include “Active geo-replication” (their term) and cmdlets (and portal) for controlling it. For Basic and Standard tiers, you […]

Last week in Azure SQL Database – Part 2 – New preview services

Note: Well that was quick. I’ve updated this blog entry (same day) to reflect clarifications provided by a member of the Azure SQL Database team. Thanks for these excellent clarifications. For now (I may go back and change this later) changes from the original blog post are indicated with italics. The last post in this […]

Last week in Azure SQL Database – Part 1

This blog post is especially dedicated to those who attended my SQLIntersection post-conference talk on WASD just over one week ago. The announcements were made after the talk, and so the information here is mostly a delta for those who want to catch up. I think the post series will be useful above and beyond […]

Managing Windows Azure SQL Database’s newest feature – Premium Database

The latest feature to make an appearance in Windows Azure SQL Database (actually it’s still a preview program) is the Premium Database. Physically, when you have a WASD database, you’re sharing that database and server with others. It’s possible that if one of your database “neighbors” decides to run a stress test, your database (and […]

SQL Intersection in April, I’ll be there!

In mid-April, April 13-16 to be exact, the spring installment of SQL Intersection comes to Orlando. I’ll actually be there a little earlier and leave a little later than that. This conference has a whole lineup of speakers that like to add a little depth to how you’re used to thinking about your databases. There’s […]

Speaking on Windows Azure SQL Database this month in Portland

The last time I spoke at the Portland SQL Server User Group was the first time I’d ever seen taken any questions on Windows Azure SQL Database, Microsoft’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering that is a variation of SQL Server. So this month, on March 28, I’ll be doing a presentation on “Windows Azure SQL Database for […]

Getting Windows Azure SQL Database diagnostics using Windows Azure cmdlets

I’ve been trying out the new supported Windows Azure PowerShell Cmdlets this week and I’d have to say I’m impressed. I’ve only used the ones for setup (Get-AzureSettingsFile and friends) and the ones for Windows Azure SQL Database (WASD) so far, and there’s a new one for WASD I really like. The original Codeplex WAAPS […]

Extended Events in Windows Azure SQL Database

Continued from the previous post, "Some new/upcoming Windows Azure SQL Database DMVs and diagnostics"… Read that one to find out who Vinod and Michal are. So, before you all run out and try it, this isn't working yet. But, like the WASD event log view, the pieces seem to be in place. So, standard disclaimer […]

Some new/upcoming Windows Azure SQL Database DMVs and diagnostics

I didn't get to a whole lot of others' sessions at TechEd this year, but was pleasantly surprised by Vinod and Michal's session on "SQL Azure Administration and Application Self-Servicing". Although most of the really interesting stuff they showed wasn't in place yet (they demo'd on a "test portal" and test Windows Azure SQL Database […]

DACFx 3.0 – Import and Export with BACPACs

The last piece of the DAC puzzle (at least for now) is import and export. Export makes a non-transactionally consistant copy of database content that uses the BACPAC format (schema and data) and Import creates a new database with the BACPAC schema and data. Currently, its the most-used method of backing up and restoring a […]

Scripting SQL Server databases sans SMO Scripter

I can script out a database schema (and optionally data) from SQL Server databases. Any version from 2005 and beyond, as well as SQL Azure Database. And most all instance level objects.  And I'm not the SMO scripter object. Or a DBA. Who am I? I would be DACFx 3.0. And I can do some things (unlike […]

New T-SQL 2012 scalar functions (all but 1) work in SQL Azure

Back when I was saw SQL Azure was producing an @@version string that mentioned version 11 (that's SQL Server 2012's major version number), I'd started looking at the version number every week or so. And looking for SQL Server 2012 functionality in SQL Azure. See the blog post "SQL Denali T-SQL features in SQL Azure […]

SQL Azure Federations are here. At least on my server…

Late tonight I tried something that I didn't think would work because @@version on SQL Azure didn't report anything different from last week. (Microsoft SQL Azure (RTM) – 11.0.1814.30 Nov 21 2011 16:46:09 Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation). It didn't work last week. But it does work now. That's the last time I listen to @@version… […]

New Wiki posting: SQL Server 2012 spatial features available in SQL Azure now!

A short while ago, I wrote a blog entry about SQL Server 2012 features that are currently available in SQL Azure. In that post, I mentioned that Ed Katibah would publish an article detailing the current state of the SQL Server 2012 spatial features in SQL Azure, in detail. That article is now available at […]

SQL Denali T-SQL features in SQL Azure now

Earlier this month I noticed that SQL Azure, with the latest upgrade has a version of 11…something (actually 11.0.1467.26, to be exact). And I wondered, aside from the long-touted new spatial library, if there were any Denali T-SQL enhancements that were now available. That is, what version of "version 11" is this? I did do […]

SQL Azure “version 11” arrives on my server

I've been trying this out every day or so since I'd heard about the update (originally named the July 2011 Service Release), but I'd forgotten about it for about a week. So I don't exactly know when this happened on my SQL Azure server. But tonight, around midnight, SELECT @@version returns: Microsoft SQL Azure (RTM) […]

A First Look at Data-Tier Applications 2.0

The next version of Data-Tier Applications is version 2.0. You can get a CTP of it today; where the CTP is located really gives away the game. It's located at SQL Azure Labs, listed under SQL Azure "Import/Export". The writeup on this page identifies a few interesting things: 1. It's a preview of the Denali […]

Interesting SQL Azure change with next SR

In looking at the what's new for SQL Azure (May 2011) page, I came across the following: "Upcoming Increased Precision of Spatial Types: For the next major service release, some intrinsic functions will change and SQL Azure will support increased precision of Spatial Types." There's a few interesting things about this announcement. Firstly, the increased […]

DAC support SQL Azure and vice-versa. It’s live.

Last week I did a talk at SQLConnections on SQL Azure Database and Data-Tier Applications (DAC). At the time (it was the day of Visual Studio 2010 launch), I explained that conference abstracts had to be submitted 6 months ago. At the time, because of some coincidental feature correspondence (e.g. the DAC whitepaper suggests only using […]

Transactions, isolation, and SQL Azure

I was trundling through my SQL Azure database today, looking for interesting behaviors. Found one. A "select * from sys.databases"  reveals that both "snapshot_isolation_state" and "is_read_committed_snapshot_on" return 1 (on) for all databases. Because ALTER DATABASE isn't supported, these cannot be changed. So READ COMMITTED SNAPSHOT is the default transaction isolation level, which may come as […]

SQL Azure: Adventures in connectivity

SQL Server Management Studio in 2008 R2 (and there's a standalone upgrade for SSMS) supports connecting to SQL Azure. And there were some tools on CodePlex that did too. And that's what I'd always used. But reading along in the latest docs I came across the following statement "Connecting to SQL Azure by using OLE […]

The Azure cloud. It’s live now.

Yesterday I signed up for my account to the official, live, RTM cloud. Of course it was all for the SQL Server, that is, SQL Server Azure. MSDN premium subscribers get a free 8-month trial, so I signed up for that and they transferred by CTP databases over (actually, my "server name" didn't change at […]