Azure SQL Database - Good Now, Getting Even Better
Arthur Zubarev | TrustRadius Reviewer
October 05, 2019

Azure SQL Database - Good Now, Getting Even Better

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Azure SQL Database

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 A migration off an on-premises SQL Server of almost effortless even from outdated versions.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).
  • This boils down to the use of OPEX as oppose to CAPEX which is perceived as an advantage over the old model of doing business.
  • The many barriers to scaling a solution fade away. It typically becomes a quick pitch with facts on the resource overuse or saturation and an up-sizing is approved.
  • The extra development would be often necessary for unsupported features or a differently implemented security.
I would say MySQL in either Aurora or MariaDB form come close however, Azure SQL Database has a more streamlined approach to delivering a consistent programmability model, supported drivers and feature set.
Azure SQL Database T-SQL is advantageous and more complete than SQL found in Amazon Aurora.
What I came to observe is that a developer becomes more productive and simply gets there faster on Azure SQL Database. The existing development tools remain, no training and tinkering necessary. Whilst some features as say database diagrams are not provided seldom it is a deal breaker.
With MySQL and Maria ETL becomes a bit harder, choices go down in what tools can be used and the pricing typically is not attractive.
Lastly, in my case, some existing off the shelf applications would not support MySQL derivatives.
It is very evident that Microsoft is committed to rapidly enhancing and bridging features of the Azure SQL Database.
The user base has significantly grown and keeps going higher.
Azure SQL Database serverless, hybrid data access mode are some of the boldest forthcoming offerings that are very exciting.
So the future is very bright for Azure SQL Database to pass by it.

Do you think Azure SQL Database delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Azure SQL Database's feature set?

Yes

Did Azure SQL Database live up to sales and marketing promises?

Yes

Did implementation of Azure SQL Database go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy Azure SQL Database again?

Yes

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

Azure SQL Database Feature Ratings

Automatic software patching
10
Database scalability
10
Automated backups
10
Database security provisions
8
Monitoring and metrics
5
Automatic host deployment
9