Differences between Microsoft SQL Server and SQL Azure

SQL Azure is a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) in the Cloud. It is built on the SQL Server platform and has full support for using Transact SQL (TSQL) programming language. Unlike your local (On-premise) SQL server, SQL Azure is accessible via the Internet. If you prefer wizards, SQL Azure may cause you some grief because they’re not there. For the most part, SQL Azure is quite functional especially if you just want to house data in a “Highly Available” environment for a competitive price. Still there are quite a few differences between SQL Server and SQL Azure.

Lets take a look at few of these differences right below:

Product/Feature SQL Server SQL Azure Additional Info
SQL Database Engine Y Y
Management Studio (SSMS) Y Y http://www.telerik.com/help/openaccess-orm/getting-started-root-quickstart-azure-connect-through-ssms.html
SQL Agent Y N
SQL Tables Y Y In Azure, every table needs a clustered index
SQL Views Y Y http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/ee336244.aspx
Stored Procedures Y Y More info: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRY5U0341bY
Windows Logins Y N
SQL Logins Y Y
Reporting Services (SSRS) Y Y http://sqlazuretutorials.com/wordpress/sql-azure-reporting-server-windows-azure-platform/
Integration Services (SSIS) Y N
Analysis Services (SSAS) Y N
Federations N Y http://geekswithblogs.net/shaunxu/archive/2012/01/07/sql-azure-federation-ndash-introduction.aspx
High Availability N Y http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jackgr/archive/2011/10/22/high-availability-on-the-azure-platform.aspx
SQL Profiler Y N
Execution Plan Y Y http://www.scarydba.com/2012/08/20/another-execution-plan-in-the-cloud/
Full Text Search Y N
Firewall N Y
TSQL Support Y Y http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/ee336281.aspx
.NET  Support Y N
Database Size limitation N Y In SQL Azure, database size is limited to 5 GB on Web edition, 150 GB on Business edition
Database backups Y N http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en/ssdsgetstarted/thread/b2a3c161-96b1-4201-ac46-a747e1806be1

Note: High Availability is obviously available in SQL Server but you have to set it up. In SQL Azure, it is already built in.

Additional Info on SQL Server and SQL Azure:

http://sqlblog.com/blogs/john_paul_cook/archive/2010/09/12/sql-azure-differences.aspx
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/ee336245.aspx
http://joinsights.com/2011/03/28/sql-azure-why-use-it-and-what-makes-it-different-from-sql-server/

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