Friday, April 25, 2014

Brand new Microsoft Azure Portal in Preview

Yesterday I had posted on the new editions of Azure SQL Databases after having noticed that the new editions were not present in the Microsoft Azure Portal. But there is a new portal in Preview that may give access to these new editions.

I could get to the preview portal (you may need to sign up and all that..) from this link here:

This means you should have an account or create one, if you don't.

This is the entrance to Microsoft Azure, the Preview Portal. The Service health shows all the world wide sites and there health. Presumably you can get back to the previous portal by clicking on the APP at the bottom (I have not tried).

Clicking on NEW+ at the left bottom of the above screen takes you to the following screen:


In the above screen you can access the various services including SQL and MySQL Databases.
Trying to create a SQL Database takes you to the following:
As you can see at present it is only limited to the WEB edition and I suppose there will be further iterations.
Another nice feature is eh What's New blade that shows the most recent changes to Microsoft Azure.

The portal is really nice and easy to handle.

If you want to see how and how much Microsoft Azure has changed take a look at my book on Microsoft SQL Azure here.

Update: Must see video here:

Web and Business editions of Azure SQL Databases will be replaced soon

As of today there are two editions of SQL Azure databases you can create in the Windows Azure portal: 1GB for WEB edition and 10 to 150GB in the BUSINESS edition. This is going to change so that you can choose the edition that suits your business.

The Web and Business editions will be replaced within a year with three levels tailored and better suited to business needs. You do not need to wait for a year as it is already in Preview.
The objectives were made clear in this email notice (quote):

New service tiers

In response to customer feedback, Azure SQL Database is introducing new service tiers to help you more easily innovate with cloud-designed database workloads. The new tiers help deliver predictable performance across six performance levels for lightweight to heavyweight transactional application demands. Additionally, the new tiers offer a spectrum of business continuity features, a stronger uptime service-level agreement (SLA), larger database sizes for less money, and an improved billing experience.

  •    Basic: Designed for applications with a light transactional workload. Performance objectives for Basic provide a predictable, hourly transaction rate.

  •    Standard: Standard is the go-to option for getting started with cloud-designed business applications. It offers mid-level performance and business continuity features. Performance objectives for Standard deliver predictable, per-minute transaction rates.

  •    Premium: Designed for mission-critical databases, Premium offers the highest performance levels and access to advanced business continuity features. Performance objectives for Premium deliver predictable, per-second transaction rates.

I tried to create a Basic tier database minutes ago (4/24/2014) but the interface still shows Web and Business:

I think there is a Preview portal to which I have to go....

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Starting Power Shell from SQL Server 2012

It's quite easy as Power Shell is integrated with SQL Server 2012.

It is quite easy to start from SQL Server 2012.

I have SQL Server Express 2012.

I open the SQL Server Management Studio 2012 from it shortcut in All Programs as shown.

In the Connect to Server dialog I fill in the details as shown.

Make sure you have started the SQL Server Windows Service from Control Panel.

If you still cannot connect, you may have connection problems.

Once connected to SQL Server click open a database node as shown. I have chosen Northwind database node, but you can choose any other node including System Databases or even Reporting Services.

Right click database node to display options.

Click on Power Shell to open DOS window for SQL Server Power Shell as shown.

You are in guys!

Well you have to learn how to work with Power Shell and SQL Server.

You can get a good intro to PowerShell/SQLServer 2012 here:

Or you can get some hands-on help here:

You can buy this from here.

You can get details from

For SQL Server PowerShell Provider go here:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Active Geo-replication and Self-Service Restore features in the April 3 Update

For Premium Tier (GA) clients, Microsoft's Scott Guthrie announced that SQL databases will be available to store up to 500GB of data. This is a very significant jump from 150 GB. Yet another thing announced was the SLA covering 99.95% of the time.

* Active Geo-Replication:

More fail-over options /disaster recovery options with Geo Replication of SQL Azure databases. This feature is also available on Azure Storage. Of course these are for premium subscriptions only for now (available at the end of the month). You can create up to 4 active,readable secondarily in any Azure region allowing you to comply with data regulations .

  • Microsoft Adds Self-Service Restore
SQL Azure creates  backup automatically for up to 35 days although this feature will be available towards the end of the month when it is enabled. This should releve the onus on export/import service.

The above graphics are from Scott's blog.

Another resource for this info here:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SQL Server 2014 is ready to download. Download and Install now

SQL Server 2014 has lots of new stuff. If you worked with SQL Server  2012 it is time to upgrade. If you experimented with  SQL Server 2014 CTP1, you need to completely uninstall it.
Here are some highlights of this edition:

You can download SQL Server 2014 from the Technet Evaluation Center here:

You can also download the express version here:

You get the following programs in the express edition:
  • LocalDB (SqlLocalDB)
  • Express(SQLEXPR)--Database Engine only
  • Express with Tools(SQLEXPRT)---Install & Configure database server+ SSMS
  • SQL Server Management Studio Express(SQLManagementStudio)
  • Express with Advanced Services(SQLEXPRADV)--includes Full Text Search & Reporting Services
Summary of some basic requirements:
  • .NET 3.5 SP1 is a requirement and is not installed by set up.
Download the above from here:
  • .NET 4.0 is also a requirement but the installaiton program downlaods and installs it.
  • PowerShell 2.0 is also a prerequisite and you have to install it if it is not present.
Operating Systems on which you can install:

Full list can be accessed here:
  • Enterprise and Business Intelligence versions installs only on Windows Servers (2012 and 2008 R2)
  • Standard Edition can be installed on Windows 7(x32 and x64) and windows 7 SP1(Ultimate to Professional)
  • SQL Developer covers the widest Windows operating Systems.
  • SQL Express can be installed on above mentioned Servers as well Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and windows 7 SP1


What is the latest MySQL Version available?

The latest version for Windows (x86) version of MSI installer can be found here: ...