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What SQL Azure looks like after getting the invitation code

Recently,  I was writing about Cloud Computing Platforms. Then, on the SQL Azure page I requested for a free account. After one week of waiting I got my invitation code. What SQL Azure looks like?

1. Receive an email

As I mentioned before, you will get an email from Microsoft, which contains a list of simple steps you have to fulfill to start using SQL Azure. You will also find out that you are able to create one server instance with 5 databases. (no size limitations mentioned) SQLAzure_screen0

2. Create your administrative account

After you enter the page https://sql.azure.com and login with your Microsoft Password account you will be able to define your administrative account credentials. As you can see on the screen below, currently you cannot change server location. SQLAzure_screen1

3. Manage your project

When you create your account you will see a management panel where you can manage a project created for you by Microsoft. When you press Manage link, you will see connection credentials screen. SQLAzure_screen2

4. Connect!

On connection credentials screen you see your server name and possibilities to change your password or view connection strings. After pressing “Connection strings” button you will see strings generated for you to be used in ADO.Net, ODBC or OLE DB. SQLAzure_screen4 To check the connection I used sqlcmd tool which is shipped together with SQL Server 2005/2008 (also Express editions). Firstly, I had some issues with setting up proper connection parameters to this tool because the msdn documentation how to use sqlcmd was not clear (why we are passing server name two times?). So I used the forum link which was in email I received from Microsoft. There I’ve found my answer. I have passed following parameters to sqlcmd: SQLAzure_screen5 In my next post I will outline how to create a simple database, tables and what kind of queries we can launch using SQL Azure. I am curious about your experiences, feel free to share them below, or meet and discuss on Facebook or through Twitter via @GOYELLO.

IT guy with head full of ideas, strongly oriented on achieving great goals in life. Currently working for Aspire Systems Poland, place where I grow.