Thursday, October 22, 2009

SQL Azure October 2009 CTP Signup Clarification

Update 10/23/2009: Workaround for can’t select database from SQL Server Management Studio’s Available Databases list (see end of post) and reduction of number of databases per subscription from five to four.

If you have a SQL Server Data Services (SSDS), SQL Data Services (SDS), or SQL Azure August or earlier CTP account, you’ll probably receive (or have received) mail similar to the following from the alias:

Following the link leads to you the new SQL Azure landing page:

In this case you have been pre-assigned a new SQL Azure subscription, so there is no text box or other control into which you can paste your invitation code GUID. If you haven’t participated in an earlier SSDS, SDS or SQL Azure CTP, you can paste the GUID into a text box to create a new subscription.

Note: Clicking the Billing link throws an HTTP 404 error.

Clicking your earlier project name, such as mine (SDS-only CTP Project) from the original 2008 SSDS CTP shown above, generates a request to accept new terms and conditions followed by a dialog to add a new SQL Azure administrator account and password for an automatically named server. (Note: Administrator, Admin and other well-known admin names aren’t allowed.)

Add Up to Five Four Databases to Your Server

The SQL Azure button then gains a Database sub-button, which you click to display Server Information and Databases/Firewall tabs. Click Create database to open a new-database dialog with a name text box and size list with 1GB and 10GB choices:

Adding a database and selecting its radio button enables the Connection String button, which opens a connection string panel with Copy to Clipboard buttons for ADO.NET and ODBC data sources:

August 2009 CTP subscriptions support up to four five 1-GB databases. Alejandro Hernandez wrote on 10/23/2009 in response to my How to Add a Subscription from a Second Invitation Code for the October CTP? thread of the same date:

During the CTP time frame until PDC you will not be able to create more than one Server. You can create up to 4 databases for now (later on the cap will increase).

If you really need more servers/subscriptions now, you will need to register with a different Live ID and get a new invitation code.

Perforate the Firewall to Connect to SQL Azure

You also need to perforate the firewall to allow server connections from Windows Azure projects by marking the strangely named Allow Microsoft Services check box to specify an IP range of to

Clicking Add Record opens a dialog to enable access by specific IP address ranges. The IP address of the computer you use access the portal appears in the dialog, as shown here:

Note: Don’t forget to open a hole for TCP/IP port 1433 in your client-side firewalls for premises-based applications that access SQL Azure.

You’re now ready to connect to the database with SQL Management Studio 2005+ [Express] or George Huey’s SQL Server Migration Wizard (MigWiz) that’s been upgraded to the new CTP in v1.4. The new MigWiz version supports SQL Server’s Bulk Copy Protocol (BCP).

Access Databases in Earlier SQL Azure CTPs

Access your earlier SQL Azure instance by logging in with your Live ID credentials at Only the database(s) you created with a previous SQL Azure CTP appear in the Server Administration page:


Notice the new ctpportal URL prefix for earlier CTP (CTP1) servers.

Updated SQL Azure documentation for the October 2009 CTP (a.k.a. CTP2) is here.

New Users: You Must Use SQL Server Authentication and Create a New Query in SSMS to Log In

SQL Azure doesn’t accept Windows Authentication (Trusted_Connection=True). You must log in with the admistrator Login ID and passwork you created when establishing your subscription:

If you’re new to SQL Azure, you’ll find that attempts to log in with your administrator credentials fail with a fatal “Invalid object name ‘sys.configurations’ (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 208)” error message:

To work around this error, Click the New Query button to open a new query window and repeat the login process. SQL Azure doesn’t work with the current version of SSMS’s Object Browser (2005 or 2008).

Update: You Must Select the Database (Other Than Master) as an Option When Connecting with SSMS

Attempts to connect to databases other than master with the Available Databases list fail silently in SSMS [Express] 2005 or with an “The database DatabaseName is not accessible” error in SSMS [Express] 2008. You must specify the database name when (re)creating the query’s connection:

Logins time out after about five minutes of inactivity. Right-click the query window and choose Connection, Connect to reconnect or Connection, Change Connection to change the active database.

The \WROX\Azure\Chapter13\InstNwndFromNorthwindOrig.sql script runs without error in the SQL Azure October 2009 CTP. Execution time is about 40 seconds with a moderate-speed DSL connection.

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