Top 7 Things You Want To Do In Windows Azure SQL Database, But Can't


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Windows Azure SQL Database (WASD) should be seen as a different version of SQL Server. Not as something that is “less” than the on-premise version, just something that is different and meant to help solve a different set of problems. The following is my list of the top 7 features that WASD does not currently support.

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Top 7 Things You Want To Do In Windows Azure SQL Database, But Can't

  1. 1. Top 7 Things You Want To Do InWindows Azure SQLDatabase, But Can’tThomas LaRockTechnical Evangelist and Senior DBAConfio SoftwareWednesday, May 29, 2013 1
  2. 2. IntroductionWindows Azure SQL Database (WASD) should beseen as a different version of SQL Server.Not as something that is “less” than the on-premiseversion, just something that is different and meantto help solve a different set of problems.The following is my list of the top 7 features thatWASD does not currently support.Wednesday, May 29, 2013 2
  3. 3. Database File PlacementPlacement of your data and databasefiles has long been one of the standardtasks that a DBA takes care of whencreating databases.That changes with Windows Azure SQLDatabase, as you no longer have theoption for data file placement, or forfilegroup management either.If you cannot control the placement ofdata on files, or filegroup management,then you can say goodbye to partitionfunctions and schemes as well.Read more at:, May 29, 2013 3
  4. 4. Database MirroringIntroduced with SQL 2005SP1, database mirroring has been apopular feature to help user meet highavailability requirements.With WASD, your data is replicatedautomatically to three different copies.There is no longer a need for you tomanually configure your own solutionto achieve high availability.Wednesday, May 29, 2013 4
  5. 5. Trace FlagsTrace flags are a way for a DBA to forcethe SQL Server engine to perform non-default actions and behavior. Theyhave become an essential toolespecially for debugging things likedeadlocks.With WASD the ability to configure atrace flag is not an option. In fact, youaren’t allowed to change any of theconfiguration options for your WASDinstance.The lack of configuration options andtrace flags always reminds me what Itell my kids when I feed them dinner:“You get what you get and you don’tget upset.”Wednesday, May 29, 2013 5
  6. 6. BACKUP and RESTOREWASD does not support either theBACKUP DATABASE or RESTORE DATABASEcommands.If you want to get a transactionallyconsistent backup of your database youmust create a new database using theCREATE DATABASE [dbname]AS COPY OF [source_dbname]syntax. You will want to consider thiswhen building your disaster recoveryplans, as the traditional concept of“running backups” changes in WASD.Read more at:, May 29, 2013 6
  7. 7. CLR ObjectsCommon Language Runtime (CLR)objects are not supported by WASD.If you have spent the last few yearsbuilding and deploying your own CLRobjects in order to help meet businessrequirements then you are going tofind this lack of support to be ashowstopper for migration to WASD.Read more about CLR at:, May 29, 2013 7
  8. 8. Distributed QueriesMost of us have grown accustomed tothe use of linked servers in order tolink disparate database serverstogether. Linked servers allows for auser to write simple queries againstmany data sources.With WASD the use of linked serversand therefore distributed queries is nolonger an option. You’ll need to rethinkhow you architect your queries andyour data sources.Wednesday, May 29, 2013 8
  9. 9. Service BrokerFor the dozens of faithful servicebroker users out there this is also ashowstopper.Imagine having spent the last six (ormore) years building out solutions thatrely on the use of Service Broker. Howlikely are you to scrap all that work inorder to migrate to WASD?Not very.I would imagine that many shops thathave invested in building solutions ontechnologies that are not supported inWASD are going to be quite slow toadapt.Wednesday, May 29, 2013 9
  10. 10. SummaryWASD does not support each and every optionfound in an on-premise version of SQL Server.But here’s the catch: Fewer options will meanless overhead.Everything is a trade off. Sometimes not havingan option makes your decisions easier.Wednesday, May 29, 2013 10
  11. 11. For More Information• For a list of limitations in WASD go to:• For help with database performance go to• For more information on WASD you can checkmy blog at, May 29, 2013 11