Become an ace in Microsoft Azure SQL Database

 Jul 31, 2014

In my last post, Crash course in Microsoft Azure SQL Database, I discussed the Azure SQL Database platform, its role and key features. So now that we’re across this, I’ll explain how to set up your own account, provision a server, and create databases. You can provision Microsoft Azure SQL Database services from the Microsoft Azure management portal, where you can create a database and specify an existing or new server in which it is to be hosted, or create a server ready for a database to be added at a later time. You can create a server either as part of the process of creating a database, or on its own. In scenarios where you are creating new databases for applications, you typically create the server as part of the process of creating the first database. However, in some cases, you might want to create the server without any user databases, and then add databases to it later. For example, by migrating them from an on-premises SQL Server instance. When you create a server, you must specify the following information:
  • A login name and password for the administrative account to be used to manage the server.
  • The geographical region where the Microsoft Azure data centre hosting the server should be located.
  • Whether or not to allow other Microsoft Azure services in the same subscription to connect to the server. Enabling access from Microsoft Azure creates a firewall rule that permits access from the IP address
A unique name for the server is generated automatically and cannot be changed. The name consists of a unique sequence of letters and numbers – for example, abcd1234. The completely qualified name of the server is in the form: <server_name>.database; for example, After the server has been created, you can configure it to allow access from a specific range of IP addresses and to enable the Premium database feature, which allows you to reserve storage up to a predefined quota for more predictable database performance. When you create a database, you must specify the following information:
  • A name for the database.
  • The edition of SQL Database you want to use (Web or Business), and the maximum size you want the database to grow to. Note that pricing for Web and Business editions is based on the storage capacity that is actually used, not on the maximum size specified.
  • The collation to be used for the database.
  • The server on which the database should be created. You can select an existing server that you have previously created in the same subscription, or create a new server.
After you have created a database, you can configure its settings to restrict access based on IP addresses. If you have enabled the Premium database service on the server, you can also convert the database to a Premium database and reserve dedicated resources and storage space for the database. Note that this option will increase costs, as you must pay for the reserved space, and not just the space actually used by the database. So now you should be across the Microsoft Azure SQL Database platform and also have a better understanding of how to set up your own account, provision a server and create databases. Of course, if you want some more details, you can always come along to one of our SQL Server training courses here at New Horizons.

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About the Author:

Adam Keats  

With over 25 years of real-world IT experience Adam is one of New Horizons’ most senior Database and Software Development trainers. Starting out as a physics teacher Adam displayed exceptional mathematical and technical capabilities early on in his career. He went on to work in a variety of programming and technical management roles within several government agencies including the Department of Defence and Maritime Patrol. In 1998 Adam found his true calling, gaining MCT status and thus beginning his technical training career specialising in SQL Server administration, development, BI, and .NET development. Since then he has worked for several training organisations and found a home at New Horizons where he is now our resident Database and Development specialist. Throughout his tenure at New Horizons, Adam has assisted over 500 students in their endeavours to improve their skills, knowledge, and to achieve industry certifications.