SQL Azure is the SaaS database Microsoft is offering as part of the Azure Platform. You will pay a monthly fee for using the SQL database, based on consumption of bandwidth and size of the database.
SQL Azure database engine is based on the SQL Server database engine, so anyone who is familiar with SQL Server will quickly get the hang of working with the SQL Azure. Also the tools to connect to the SQL Azure DB are the same. You can connect with the SQL Server Management Studio and use it as you would with a local installation. Of course being setup as Software as a Service there are some differences with a local installation:
- Concepts that have to do with the physical part of the server wont be available
- Backup and Restore is handled by Microsoft
- Server administration is limited
Having a database in the cloud also has a lot of advantages:
- No physical administration required software installation and patching is included
- High availability and fault tolerance are built in
- Simple provisioning and deployment of multiple databases
- Scale databases up or down based on business needs
- Integration with SQL Server and tooling including Visual Studio - For example with Integration Services, Analysis Services, Reporting Services, PowerPivot, etc.
Contact us to learn more on how we can help you with SQL Azure Database