Windows Azure - SQL Azure Introduction

Remembering from the storage type article, the 3 types of storage were:

  • Local Storage
  • Windows Azure Storage
  • SQL Azure Storage

The features are mentioned below:

  • SQL Server equivalent in Cloud
  • Built on SQL Server Technologies
  • No installation needed
  • Transact SQL Support
  • ADO.NET and ODBC drivers supported
  • Available anywhere
  • Existing .Net Database skills are reusable here
  • Easier Scalability
  • Highly Fault Tolerant
  • Pricing involved

    SQL Azure Storage

Note: The Sql Azure can be accessible from Azure applications as well as other applications like ASP.NET, Console Applications. Also the complete SQL Features are not available in SQL Azure. You can find more info here.

Features Explained

We can relate everything in our windows/ world to azure world. The Sql Azure is the Sql Server equivalent in the cloud. There will be a server, database and connectivity using ADO.NET which we are familiar with. (Creation of server and database are discussed in the upcoming article.)

Connecting using ADO.NET

We can use the existing ADO.NET SQL Server classes to connect and manipulate the SQL Azure database.

SQL Azure


The SQL Azure database will be replicated on multiple servers and is more fault tolerant than the SQL Server database.

The automatic switching of server in case of server fault makes the SQL Azure have increased availability.

SQL Azure helps the database management easier by freeing up from:

  • Server Operating System Setup Overheads
  • SQL Server Setup Overheads
  • Scalability Setup Overheads

In the pre SQL Azure world, we need to setup the database server with the appropriate operating system, install the sql server, configure the server etc. But in SQL Azure we are free from all these overheads. This makes concentrating in the core aspects of the application.

In the SQL Azure, scalability is an easier task otherwise in Sql Server we have to deal with replication server configuration, principal and mirror server configuration etc. We can scale up and down based on the requirements of the application.

More information can be found here

Types of Database

In the SQL Azure there are two types of databases:

  • Web Edition
  • Business Edition

The Web Edition is the basic edition and right choice for a typical web application. This Database provides up to 5 GB of T-SQL based relational database. This edition is best suited for Web application, and Departmental custom apps.

The Business Edition SQL Azure DB provides up to 50 GB of T-SQL based relational database. This edition is best suited for Software as a Service applications, custom applications etc.

SQL Azure Storage

The billing also varies based on the edition. In our examples we will be using the Web Edition only.

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