One of our lab project teams was pretty busy while the rest of us were taking a break between Christmas and New Year’s here in Redmond. On January 3rd, their new lab went live: Microsoft Codename "SQL Azure Compatibility Assessment". This lab is an experimental cloud service targeted at database developers and admins who are considering migrating existing SQL Server databases into SQL Azure databases and want to know how easy or hard this process is going to be. SQL Azure, as you may already know, is a highly available and scalable cloud database service delivered from Microsoft’s datacenters. This lab helps in getting your SQL Server database cloud-ready by pointing out schema objects which are not supported in SQL Azure and need to be changed prior to the migration process. So if you are thinking about the cloud again coming out of a strong holiday season where some of your on-premises databases were getting tough to manage due to increased load, this lab may be worth checking out.

There are two steps involved in this lab:

  1. You first need to generate a .dacpac file from the database you’d like to check on with SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) CTP4. SQL Server 2005, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012 (CTP or RC0) are supported.
  2. Next, you upload your .dacpac to the lab cloud service, which returns an assessment report, listing the schema objects that need to change before you can move that database to SQL Azure.

You find more information on the lab page for this project and in the online documentation. A step-by-step video tutorial will walk you through the process. Of course, we would love to hear feedback from you!

And we’re always interested in suggestions or ideas for other things you’d like to see on http://wwwsqlazurelabs.com. You can use the feedback buttons on that page and send us a note, or visit http://www.mygreatwindowsazureidea.com/ and enter a new idea into any of the specific voting forums that are available there. There’s a dedicated voting forum for SQL Azure and many of its subareas. You can also place a vote for ideas that were posted if you spot something that matters to you. We appreciate your input! Follow @SQLAzureLabs on Twitter for news about new labs.

-- Christina Storm (@chrissto)

Principal Program Manager, SQL Azure Labs