Rounding out the Azure theme this week I thought I would delve in to the world of SQL Azure this evening and see how easy it is to configure a database in the Cloud.

Having watched the Mix Videos and attended an online Nerd-out event at the Redmond Campus in April I thought it was high time I got my hands dirty with Azure this week.

Why would I want to do this? Well for no other reason that to test the waters right now and see what the experience is like.

So here we are for the 2rd instalment on Azure, please check out the previous post on Azure here.

Lets get started

To begin with you will need a Windows Azure Service account and here is one I prepared early.

Windows Azure Service home page

Once we click on the SQL Azure link to the left we have to accept the Terms and Conditions.

Terms and Conditions

Next we are asked to supply and Administrator Username, Password and select the location we would like our database to be hosted in. I will go with Southeast Asia for now.

Account Details

It only takes about 10-15 seconds and then we are taken to the Server Administration screen.

Server Administration

Creating our own database is very straightforward and we just need to supply a name and select a size, 1gb or 10Gb are the only options currently. Creating the database takes about 5-10 seconds.

Before we can connect we need to add a firewall rule to allow traffic from the ‘Home IP’ Address to connect to the database. I can call the rule whatever I like and my IP Address would have been shown where it shows

Add Firewall Rule

Firewall Rules

Next up lets test the connectivity of our SQL Azure database by pressing the ‘Test Connectivity’ button

Test Connectivity

Although the screen told me it may take up to 5 minutes for the Firewall rule to apply I found it was pretty much applied straight away.

So that has got us to the stage of creating a database, connectivity is working and now I am good to go.

I can connect to my database fine from SQL Server 2008 Management Studio by opening a new Query Window but not by trying to browse the database explorer.

I suspect this is a feature that is in SQL Server 2008 R2 as I have seen it demoed. It shows the Azure database in blue but does not give you the full functionality.

That will be my next adventure in SQL Azure. I hope this has been useful and perhaps demystified what SQL Azure is.