YES, we can create our own SQL Server and database on the cloud using SQL Server AZURE that too FREELY !!!
Currently Microsoft is offering a Introductory offer, where following services / components are freely available to us. We can use this for production use too. I decided to use this space for Posting a series of Learning posts on SQL Server Cloud Computing
Following services are Included in this introductory offer
- Windows Azure
- 25 hours of a small compute instance
- 500 MB of storage
- 10,000 storage transactions
- SQL Azure
- 1GB Web Edition database (available for first 3 months only)
- Windows Azure platform AppFabric
- 100,000 Access Control transactions
- 2 Service Bus connections
- Data Transfers (per region)
- 500 MB in
- 500 MB out
Note : This introductory special will end on March 31, 2011. Sign UP TODAY ONLY !!!
What the STEPS Required to create a SQL Server Cloud Database on SQL AZURE ?
- Sign up for Windows live ID, if you do not have any one
- Sign up for Windows Azure Online Services.
- Login to Windows Azure Project
- Activate your Subscription
- LOGIN to SQL AZURE
- Create a Server
- Set up Firewall configuration
- Create a Database
- Connect directly from SSMS 2008 R2 .
Lets’ take this ONE by ONE with Screen Shots.
- Go to http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sqlazure/default.aspx
- CLICK on FREE TRIAL, as shown in picture
- CLICK on BUY NOW, which is free product
- Once you Click On BUY Button, you will get a Windows, live screen login with your WINDOWS Live ID and fill up the entire form and click Finish Finally. This will ask for Credit Card Information too.
- Once your account is setup, you will get the message with your subscription number, make a note of it and CLICK FINISH, after that, you will get a screen like this
Once this is finished, you will be asked for activate your subscription and straight forwardly redirected to the following welcome, summary screen
Otherwise, you can log into AZURE again. Go ahead and click on the link under SQL Azure. The web link for this is
http://sql.azure.com as shown
- This will forwards us to SQL Azure Developer Portal
Windows Azure Project
Once you sign in the Windows Azure Portal, the default project will be listed. By default, the subscription name will be used to name your project. In our case here is the screen shot for our project.
Check the Status column to verify if your subscription is Enabled or not. If this is Enabled,
- Click on Project NAME, in my case, this "DBATAG"
Click I Accept.
Then, you can create your logical server. Choose nearest location to you to avoid network bandwidth costs and achieve better performance and ACCEPT TEMS OF USE. Next step would be creating a new Virtual Database Server.
Create SQL Azure Database Server
Next we are going to create the SQL Azure database server. Enter Administrator Username and Password, click Create Server. Here is the information from our SQL Azure server.
This step goes ahead and create the Sql Azure server and a Master system database under it. Now you should be able to see SQL Azure Server administration page. We have included one for your review.
SQL Azure Firewall settings
Allow Microsoft Services
In order to allow Microsoft Services and other applications to access your SQL Azure, you also need to check the box labeled Allow Microsoft Services. Here is the step in action.
Create SQL Azure database
Now we are ready to create a SQL Azure database using the SQL Development portal. Click on Databases tab and select Create database. Next click on Create to setup the database. USE Minimum setting to avoid charges.
Here is a screen demo from these steps.
Once, The Database is created, it will shown the database list and will also show you current occupied size
After the database is successfully created, you have a few operations that you can perform from the SQL Azure Portal. Here is the explanation on each of these:
This is helpful when you need to share the information for development purpose. When we clicked on it, we get a dialog box with the connection string. I have included part of it here:
Test Connectivity in SQL Azure
In order to make sure that all the settings are correct, go ahead and try to connect using the administration credentials from before. Here is a screen capture of this step.
Connect to SQL AZURE Server and Database from the Locally Installed SQL Server Management Studio(SSMS)
Now Lets connect to this newly created SQL AZURE Server using SSMS. In the Connection String Specify Server NAME and USER NAME, which you received in connective string, for example
Once you supplied the Server NAME, LOGIN NAME and Password, you will be able to connect to SQL AZURE Server and will able to see the Sample database, which we created online.
Once, we are connected, we can create database objects as required.