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Quickly Migrate from SQL Server to SQL Azure

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In order to make migrating from SQL Server to SQL Azure easier, Microsoft is releasing a migration tool on CodePlex. The SQL Azure Migration Wizard will detect, and if possible, correct incompatibilities between SQL Server 2005/2008 and SQL Azure. Common problems it can fix include replacing text columns with varChar(max) and converting user-defined types to their base types. Other issues such as SQL Azure’s lack of support for hierarchyID will require manual intervention. In addition to generating scripts for deploying the migrated schema on SQL Azure, this tool will also allow you to migrate table data using BCP.

Windows Azure is Microsoft’s entry into the cloud computing market. It consists of several components including a data storage engine called SQL Azure. SQL Azure is based on the relational database model, complete with constraints, transactions, temporary tables, and stored procedures. For access, developers can choose from ADO.NET, ODBC, or PHP.

SQL Azure is based on SQL Server 2008 at compatibility level 100. Databases running at lower compatibility levels such as 80 or 90 may be problematic. While the migration tool will catch compatibility level issues, it is highly recommend that databases be fully upgraded to level 100 prior to using the tool.

The beta version of the SQL Azure Migration Wizard is available on CodePlex under the Microsoft Public License.

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