Azure SQL Database Reviews

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Score 8.3 out of 101

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Arthur Zubarev profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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Azure SQL Database was used internally solely for any new development or when extra capacity on an ad-hoc basis was necessary. Azure SQL Database was used across several departments.
SQL Server, as a mature and well known product that is around for so long makes Azure SQL Database a natural successor to it, which delivers on the same promises.
Users will find their familiar tools working seamlessly, any existing application would sustain likely a minor tweak or a mere configuration change to begin its Cloud journey. A migration off an on-premises SQL Server of almost effortless even from outdated versions.
Of course, with the Cloud the scalability becomes second nature and the server layer becomes transparent.
There are many options available how a client can securely access the data and the integration with Active Directory is supported.
The CAPEX to OPEX brings with it predictable spending, flexibility.
On the technology side, even though there are a couple of inconsistencies with the traditional SQL Server a business would find numerous benefits in Azure SQL Database as the ability to leverage the vast Microsoft Azure ecosystem and tools, reduced patching and version upgrades.
Overall, in my view, the Azure SQL Database is poised to constantly receive significant enhancements as Microsoft remains committed to growing its feature set.
  • Scalability is #1: if it used to be an almost no-win endeavour to try to modernize your server or migrate to other hardware, with Azure SQL Database it becomes a press of a button.
  • All the tools simply work after you are on Azure SQL Database.
  • The applications do not need changes in order to start using Azure SQL Database.
  • Hybrid Cloud scenarios will work.
  • Clustering and failover - already there.
  • You can start monitoring the use and extract performance insights in a new way in Azure.
  • One needs to be aware that some T-SQL features are simply not available.
  • The programmatic access to server, trace flags, hardware from within Azure SQL Database is taken away (for a good reason).
  • No SQL Agent so your jobs need to be orchestrated differently.
  • The maximum concurrent logins maybe an unexpected problem.
  • Sudden disconnects.
  • The developers and admin must study the capacity and tier usage limits https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-subscription-service-limits otherwise some errors or even transaction aborts never seen before can occur.
  • Only one Latin Collation choice.
  • There is no way to debug T-SQL ( a big drawback in my point of view).
In general, if a given business is a Microsoft products based enterprise then it would be very receptive to Azure SQL Database. There are almost no barriers to its adoption. One only needs to be aware of the limitations and constraints as a platform or service https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-subscription-service-limits
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Jacob Biguvu profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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CarMax is a car largest used-car retailer and a fortune company. I am Cloud Engineer/DBA in a team of DBA group. The company is largely using the SQL Server database as a back-end for most applications. The company decided to migrate their on-premises databases unto the cloud. They chose the Azure SQL database for all SQL databases. The main reason for the migration are the factors such as cost saving, scalability and performance, security, business continuity, and disaster recovery. On top of this, migration is very quick and simple from on-premises unto Azure, because Azure provided migration tools natively.
  • Azure SQL database is low-cost option for development and production workloads.
  • Azure is a fully-managed SQL database. This falls into the industry category of PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) and DBaaS (Database-as-a-Service) where the software and hardware that is hosted, maintenance is owned by Microsoft. This allows users to concentrate fully on database management and administration.
  • Azure SQL database offers a variety of deployment options such as you can have a single database with its own set of resources managed via a SQL database server. A single database is similar to a contained database in SQL Server. Other options to leverage are an elastic pool and managed instances.
  • Azure provided a deployment option with a feature "elastic pool" - where you can have a collection of databases with a shared set of resources managed via SQL database server. Easily the resources from the pool can be managed among the databases. This brings more performance and cost effective when the user want to manage the multi-tenant applications.
  • Azure provided another deployment option that is "SQL database managed instances" with absence of certain features comparing to the single SQL database.
  • In AWS, we have RDS concept - where servers are invisible and have only database access. The same concept can be seen in Azure but we don't need to see the servers. When Azure SQL Database is DBaaS and PaaS, no need to have access to the SQL Server of the database.
  • It would be great to provide administration related procedures or functions to analyze the performance and maintenance tasks.
SQL database can be used for any OLTP databases. Azure provided another feature, SQL Datawarehouse for OLAP applications.
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Score 9 out of 10
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We use Azure SQL DB throughout our entire business since we migrated to the cloud 4 years ago. It is the backbone of our CRM, Call Center and BI platforms, and feeds out Data Management initiative. On our CRM we use three instances, two for primary/failover and one for disaster recover and external queries running 10 seconds behind. Call Center links to that and BI runs 2 instances, one for sales/marketing data the other for manufacturing data. We have been quite satisfied with the control over the access and security of the data and the subscriptions themselves.
  • Control of access and security is easy to manage and share within our team. Response is quick and quite a bit of things are preloaded to help.
  • Having the SQL component reside directly within our subscription makes connecting and managing very easy and highly transparent. Added spots for notes on things like why an IP is whitelisted is very helpful when working with a large team that includes off-shore components.
  • Scalability is another bonus, easy to scale up or down during peak times, and even automate that function makes it almost competitive with something like Snowflake.
  • A little slow on processing complex or large Views. We use a lot of Views to feed our BI system, and the processing time could see some improvement, IMHO.
  • Additional monitoring components would be nice too, automating some built in performance measurement tools would be a nice feature.
  • Price can always be improved as well. It’s not bad, but room for improvement.
If you have any apps in the cloud, this is the way to go. The interface and management is much better than AWS, and no one else is getting closer. If you are running just BI, you could go with a Snowflake or Cloudera approach, but Cloudera is complex and Snowflake simply sits on top of Azure Data Storage anyway, and I hear will soon be an offering by Microsoft as well.
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Michael Jipping profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Azure SQL Database was being utilized at first for development as a low-cost option for development and then was later explored as an option for running production workloads. SQL Database Servers have a relatively high fixed cost and this allowed for a great option at a reduced impact to the budget.
  • Extremely Flexible- You have the ability to increase and decrease the performance resources as needed without taking a downtime or other burden.
  • Connectivity- Connection to your SQL Database is easily accomplished with SSMS or PowerShell.
  • Speed- Azure SQL Databases are quickly set up. You can have access and begin using your database within minutes.
  • It would be appreciated for better integration between SSMS and Azure Database service. Example, you need to a provision user account with the Azure portal. It would be great to be able to do this within SSMS.
  • Being able to run a back from SSMS versus from within the Azure Portal would be great. (Ability to create a standard .bak database backup).
Azure SQL Database will be great to use for an organization that needs an extremely flexible database solution or a low-cost solution. Some scenarios such as healthcare or banking may require for the solution to remain hosted onsite due to security/regulations. For most scenarios, Azure SQL Database is a great solution.
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Duncan Hernandez profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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Azure SQL is a cloud database, which our company has been lacking for a very long time. It has resolved our problem of being able to scale upwards, without having to request new servers or more memory in our current hardware. Currently, Azure is only being used by our developers and business intelligence team.
  • No more internal servers is a big plus.
  • Transition was relatively easy since we came from another Microsoft database before.
  • Query running time has significantly improved
  • Some of our older SSIS packages and SQL server jobs needed to be upgraded before a transition to Azure.
Complex queries are a big plus. For a heavy front end users like me, I like a database that can handle all my complex syntax.

Migration was a problem since we had a lot of processes on Microsoft software as old as 2005. Since they are both Microsoft products, I would have hoped for an easier transition.
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Atul Gupta profile photo
December 21, 2018

Azure Sql rocks

Score 10 out of 10
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We use it globally across all member firms for Enterprise solutions. It's the back-end for corporate applications and going forward analytics.
  • Agility of the platform
  • No infrastructure maintenance and worry about upgrading, it's managed.
  • Always on and universal availabilities
  • No worry about backup recovery
  • PowerBI connectors need improvement across 365 platform
  • Data bricks can be inherent feature
  • More robust integration to flow
It's well suited for enterprise applications, as development to implementation cycles are shortened and less risky. The Azure platform and ARMs are our favorite now for budget and time.
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Erik Ralston profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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Azure SQL Database provides an easily managed PaaS-based persistence layer for all our web apps, including internal business systems and the products we sell to our customers. It provides a scalable, globally distributed database engine for our development team without a large admin overhead.
  • Providing a SQL Server instance at low entry-level cost and global high-availability
  • Elastic offerings so SaaS applications can cheaply have one-database-per-customer approach for high data segregation
  • Intelligence performance recommendations from both Azure and the SQL Server engine itself
  • Intelligent recommendations are not a silver bullet, since they often fail to detect opportunities that are obvious to a human database admin with any experience.
  • Certain advanced database features - most recently I found: column store indices - are locked behind pricing tiers that one would naively assume are just about performance.
Azure SQL Database, like most PaaS platforms, is best when you want to save money on human resources by paying a little more for computing resources. Especially cases where the developer is already deep into the Microsoft stack, such as situations where you're already using an Azure Web App for hosting your application. In these case, SQL Database is a no-brainer decision. Obviously, Azure SQL Database is less appropriate for Big Data applications (where a NoSQL technology or at least Azure SQL Data Warehouse would make more sense) and it's delivering SQL Server, so lots of open source stacks would be averse to it (e.g. Wordpress and most PHP technologies where they want MySQL).
Read Erik Ralston's full review
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Score 9 out of 10
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Azure SQL DB is a great service. It optimizes licensing cost and lets you pay per usage. You can grow as needed and it supports from small to large databases. Be aware it can require some networking/security steps to have it in large or more controlled environments.
  • It optimizes cost - pay per usage. It can scale up and down as needed.
  • It can be migrated to from Oracle, MySQL and other on premises databases.
  • It is always updated with management and administrative functionalities being added weekly.
  • Migration from on premises databases can be painful at first - but after couple of migrations it becomes easy.
  • Network capabilities and restrictions should be carefully evaluated.
  • It can be costly if you don't implement scale up/down automations.
For large databases cost should be carefully evaluated as it can be very expensive. But for medium and small databases (usually 80% of the organization) it has perfect fit. Data replication (for disaster recovery), backup, security and performance recommendation are great tools and work very well. When planning to migrate from Oracle, start first with smaller databases - but be aware Microsoft is always improving its migration tools.
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August 10, 2018

Intro to Azure SQL DB

Score 7 out of 10
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We use Azure SQL Database as the data store for our public website. It allows us to meet our uptime goals and provides a point of contact with our customers regardless of the state of our internal network.
  • High availability
  • Security features
  • Ease of upgrade from on premise SQL
  • Lacks full feature parity with SQL server
  • More limited access to metrics for performance troubleshooting
  • Hard to understand metrics used for sizing
Works great for simple applications where you don't need functionality like cross-database queries. Also good for elastic use cases since it can be scaled up and down easily.
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Rick Hahn profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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It is used in firm-wide operations via RDP to enter data into a proprietary vertical market legal database. It resolves the problem of a law firm that is in several cities across the US.
  • The fact that it is available for the Azure cloud platform.
  • The fact that it is easy to license as a monthly subscription and software access is simple.
  • The fact that it functions exactly as its local server based counter part.
  • It appears to have a slight delay in revealing data in the client software, then data will appear almost instantly. It is an odd feel when using it until you get used to it.
  • It seems a bit slower than its local server based counter part.
  • The tool bars icons are a little different and took some getting used to.
If you are a small operation and your focus is on dollar for dollar comparison to a local server based product, it will seem more expensive, until you look at the big picture of total cost of ownership. In the alternative if you consider the cost of IT with this product compared to a local server based product it shakes out in your favor. Specifically when you consider that IT help can be had remotely from around the world at huge savings and by being cloud based you can get some very brilliant but value based talent by shopping globally. Azure products help accomplish this because IT can add and remove features and resources without any need for local boots on the ground. Where local servers and databases are subject to power outages, tampering by local employees, local access security issues.... It is just built for high availability on a more reliable backbone with secure access from anywhere.
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Simranjeet Singh profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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We used it store customer data on servers and it provides many feature like dynamic queries. We create stored procedure in it to parse different types of format. We also save customer credentials in it.
  • It is best to store large scale data. We can connect with it in any language.
  • Interface is very easy and the debugging feature is really effective at discovering real errors.
  • Speed of processing large files and store into database is very fast. Data export and import is very safe and simple.
  • Login security features protect against unauthorized users.
  • Overall it is the best tool to mange large and complex data, but it needs enhancements in the speed of accessing large data volumes.
  • Sometimes it get hung if we forcefully stop the select query.
  • It should show consistent performance through SQL profiler tool.
It is used to secure store customer client information. It also provides a multi-task feature. For example we can open different inatances of the same server or a different server, and can perform any number of operations.
I always prefer to use this product, but there are some areas in which it struggles a little bit. For example, it should decrease CPU cost and require less system resources . I hope the next version overcomes these issues,
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Zimran Azim profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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Azure database is currently used by a specific department at my organization and we mainly focus on auditing and monitoring so it pretty much serves our purpose and most importantly it is easily secured with firewall and DNS resolutions. Migrating databases is no more a hectic task from shifting a large scale database to a more managed engine.
  • The great thing about is even you are a pro or a newbie with Azure, you will not be tired of setting up SQL Server, the befitting pipelining of AZURE to cloud service where you don't need it onsite.
  • You always don't need to update services, patches and deployment of supporting services. Cloud does make it someone else's job to do this.
  • Generally obviates the need for building high availability architectures; Azure databases built within it are automatically highly available.
  • Highly scalable and has vast support for non Microsoft technologies.
  • One of the ways SQL Azure manifests being part of the whole stack is by offering multiple levels of implementation. If you simply need a website and a database, you can hitch an SQL Azure instance to an Azure website and be done with it.
  • No schedulers available in case you require cron jobs.
  • Certain username are not allowed (root, admin, administrator).
Sync and migration tools: If you already have a clutch of SQL Server-stored data somewhere and want to either sync it with SQL Azure or passively migrate it via sync, Microsoft has published a service -- the appropriately named SQL Data Sync to accomplish this. Use of the service itself is free, and all inbound data to Azure costs nothing, so you won't have to worry about racking up costs by syncing gigabyte-sized tables.
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Tom Jaskula profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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Azure SQL database can be used to replace traditional onsite SQL Server databases. It is a fit for many different business funtions within many different verticals and horizontals.
  • The newest SQL Server features and functions are pushed to the service, so unlike onsite SQL there is never a need for upgrading.
  • Azure SQL database does not require onsite infrastructure.
  • Because this is a cloud solution, you will never need to patch the Operation System, install a service pack, or install an update.
  • Unlike onsite databases, scaling up or scaling down is very easy with Azure SQL database.
  • Azure SQL database does not contain the SQL Agent service, so if jobs needs to be scheduled you still need to do this using a traditional SQL Server.
  • Given that there are 10 different pricing options, It can be difficult to determine which one to select.

SaaS shops that need to react quickly to customer demand can benefit greatly from the speed and ease at which a database can be created and scaled. Azure SQL Database also works extremely well with PowerBI and a plethora of other Azure services.

Azure SQL database is not likely to be a fit for replacing the database behind a large ERP, this isn't what its meant for. It also is not a fit if you have over 1 TB of data.

Read Tom Jaskula's full review
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Score 9 out of 10
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Mainly used for customer/product management. Azure has been a huge help in the process improvement realm. I've used this to enhance and speed up numerous processes. My experience with databases spans a decade and I've used a few different types of services available on the market. Azure was typically a 'go to' tool in most aspects. I advise companies to use this tool the majority of the time.
  • Marketing automation and tracking
  • SharePoint servers
  • General Business Intelligence
  • For what I use it for I haven't come across much
  • User interface could be improved
  • Navigation could be simplified
It's appropriate with anything relating to product/customer/marketing efficiency. I work in consulting for numerous small and medium size businesses. Most of the time I consult on business development, marketing, online reputation, process improvement, and database work. When appropriate, I recommend Azure as a solution to whatever problem exists. The platform typically works out and helps me with clients.
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Score 9 out of 10
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We had acquired a new casino and the move for them to be on our domain was TBD. We did, however, need data from some of their systems. Since they did not go through a full security evaluation yet, we were not willing to allow access to their end. As a solution, we implemented Azure SQL Database so we could push the data to the cloud, to then access it on our end. We would have the data without having to directly access their end from our domain.
  • Scales easily
  • Performance is solid
  • It just works
  • Elastic pools are great
  • It would nice to have Azure SQL Database provide closer to full support of T-SQL
  • Cross database queries
  • More performance reports would be nice
It would perform great in a SaaS scenario. You could use elastic pools to manage multiple databases.
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Score 10 out of 10
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Azure SQL Database is being used by multiple business units in our organization. We use it in conjunction with Cloud Services (web applications).
  • Point In Time Backup
  • High Availability
  • Scaling
  • Provide customers more examples with Azure Automation (ways of doing backups, etc.) and then emailing when there is a failure.
  • Decrease costs on premium.
  • Allow customers to define a longer point in time backup recovery period.
Since they have different tiers, I'd say any business in need of a database could benefit and save time.
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Feature Scorecard Summary

Automatic software patching (15)
9.6
Database scalability (16)
9.7
Automated backups (16)
9.5
Database security provisions (16)
9.4
Monitoring and metrics (15)
8.2
Automatic host deployment (12)
9.2

About Azure SQL Database

Azure SQL Database is Microsoft's relational database as a service (DBaaS).

Azure SQL Database Integrations

Azure SQL Database Technical Details

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