My Experience with SQL Azure

Published: Mon 09 May 2011
By Surya

In Rant.

We are in the process of developing a prototype for Windows Azure.
Since its a fairly a new technology not many online help/discussions
are available. and if there are, then they are obsolete (as these steps would become in couple of months)
the reason being, Microsoft comes out with updates for major/minor versions pretty quickly.
Anyway these are the challenges we faced until now and maybe would face some more in future. Most of them are
due to our ignorance or lack of knowledge on how it could be done in a certain way (thats one more problem with new tech, where
nobody knows what`s the standard way until you make errors).
Now Azure requires latest and greatest. Hence, we decided to use virtual machine to make Win 7 images and install azure sdk
and sql server 2008 (big mistake for sql server...as we painfully found out later that we needed SQL server 2008 R2 CTP!).
So during R\&D, we realized that we could use Windows Azure with Storage as our backend. But, it turned out to be a
Hash Table, which is only used to save key value pair, where value can be anything from blob to complex objects etc. However again, we needed a RDBMS. On further research, we found a service called SQL Azure which was exactly what we required for Storage.
And now when we tried to open it with Management Studio, we could only do scripts and not objects.. Bummer!! I am more
used to the GUI aspect of sqlserver then scripts, which made us search for different alternatives in codeplex i.e.
http://hanssens.org/tools/sqlazuremanager/ which were all buggy or mostly incomplete! Turns out we had to install
SQL server 2008 R2 CTP. sigh!!! Who knew??
Once everything was set, we now had to move our existing data from oracle to Azure. We used Microsoft's tool \<???> to migrate data, which was slow but worked fine. Finally, it was a success...Yippee!!

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