Microsoft Project Code-Named “Houston” CTP 1 (August 2010 Update)

[This article was contributed by the SQL Azure team.]

Microsoft® Project Code-Named “Houston” is a lightweight and easy to use database management tool for SQL Azure databases. It is designed specifically for Web developers and other technology professionals seeking a straightforward solution to quickly develop, deploy, and manage their data-driven applications in the cloud. Project “Houston” provides a web-based database management tool for basic database management tasks like authoring and executing queries, designing and editing a database schema, and editing table data.

Major features in this release include:

  • Navigation pane with object search functionality
  • Information cube with basic database usage statistics and resource links
  • Table designer and table data editor
  • Aided view designer
  • Aided stored procedure designer
  • Transtact-SQL editor

What’s new in the August update:

  • Project “Houston” is deployed to all data centers. For best results, use this tool for managing your databases located in the same data center.
  • A refresh button in the database toolbar will retrieve the latest database object properties from the server.
  • User interface and performance enhancements.

Resources for Project “Houston” Customers

Use the following video tutorials and documentation to learn more about Project “Houston” functionality.

Link

Description

SQL Azure Labs portal

Access Project “Houston.”

Video – Tables

This video demonstrates how use Project “Houston” to create and modify a table in an existing SQL Server database.

Video Queries

This video describes how use Project “Houston” to create, modify, execute, save, and open a Transact-SQL query.

Video – Views

This video shows how use Project “Houston” to create, select, and modify views.

Video – Stored procedures

This video shows how use Project “Houston” to create, select, and modify stored procedures.

Blog

Use the SQL Azure blog to read about this Project “Houston” release, and to access the Project “Houston” application.

Known Issues in this Release

Use the following list of known issues to learn about Project “Houston” issues and workarounds in this release.

Logon Page

  • Issue.1: You might see repeated display of the Terms of Use dialog.
  • Workaround.1: To prevent the Terms of Use dialog from displaying after it has been accepted, enable isolated storage in Silverlight.

    To enable isolated storage, use the following steps:

    1. Right-click anywhere inside the Project “Houston” application. You will see a Silverlight button.
    2. Click on the Silverlight button, then click on the Application Storage tab.
    3. Check the Enable application storage check box, then click OK.

    To disable isolated storage, use the following steps. Note that the Project “Houston” Terms of Use dialog will display if isolated storage is disabled.

    1. Right-click anywhere inside the Project “Houston” application. You will see a Silverlight button.
    2. Click on the Silverlight button, then click on the Application Storage tab.
    3. Uncheck the Enable application storage check box.
    4. Click the Delete all… button, then click OK.

Start Page

  • Issue.2: The read-only status on the Start Page might be incorrect.
  • Workaround.2: You might have write permissions even if Project “Houston” displays read-only status.
  • Issue.3: The Start Page cannot be re-opened once it has been closed.
  • Workaround.3: To display the Start Page after it has been closed, logoff of Project “Houston” then logon again.
  • Issue.4: Database properties are retrieved at the time of login and do not get refreshed automatically during the session.
  • Workaround.4: To refresh the database, click the Refresh button on the Database ribbon.

Display

  • Issue.5: The Project “Houston” user interface might be rendered incorrectly when the browser zoom is not set to 100%.
  • Workaround.5: Whenever possible, keep browser zoom set to 100%.
  • Issue.6: The names of columns, tables, views, stored procedures might get truncated if they are too long.
  • Workaround.6: There is no workaround for this issue in this release.

General Behavior

  • Issue.7: A newly created alias type is not available in the drop-down list for select type in table designer and stored procedure designer. The new alias type is still not available after you click Refresh, or logoff and then logon to Project “Houston” within the same browser session.
  • Workaround.7: Close the current browser session and logon to Project “Houston” again.
  • Issue.8: Dirty state and Save button are not updated immediately when a change is made. Instead, they will get updated only after you switch focus to a different user interface context.
  • Workaround.8: After you have modified the body of an existing stored procedure, you must click on another user interface control – e.g., the parameter of the stored procedure, before the dirty icon and the Save button will be enabled.
  • Issue.9: While loading one or more objects – e.g., in the navigation pane or in new workspaces, operations might not work properly.
  • Workaround.9: Do not save or execute before the loading operation completes.
  • Issue.10: Pressing the Stop button during a logon attempt or query execution does not stop the operation.
  • Workaround.10: There is no workaround for this issue in this release.
  • Issue.11: Inconsistent ways to enter default values.
  • Workaround.11: For int, specify the number only – e.g., 7. For varchar, specify the string values surrounded by single quotes – e.g., ‘hello’. If you specify values in an incorrect format, you might get an error.
  • Issue.12: Inconsistent ways to display default values.
  • Workaround.12: For int, like 6, specify ((6)); however, for varchar, like hello, specify (‘hello’).
  • Issue.13: Changing an existing default value in the table designer leads to an error.
  • Workaround.13: Perform the action using the Transact-SQL Editor.
  • Issue.14: Cannot specify the order of columns for a composite primary key in the table designer.
  • Workaround.14: Perform the action using the Transact-SQL Editor.
  • Issue.15: Changing an existing primary key in the table designer leads to error.
  • Workaround.15: Perform the action using the Transact-SQL Editor.
  • Issue.16: Some column types are not supported for editing/viewing in GUI, including binary, XML, Unique identifier, timestamp, geography, geometry and hierarchy.
  • Workaround.16: There is no workaround for this issue in this release.
  • Issue.17: For all date types, the date and time part are in the form mm/dd/yyy hh:mm:ss AM/PM. A date control is used for editing the value.
  • Workaround.17: Specify the value in the correct format as free text.
  • Issue.18: Closing a dirty workspace with schema changes does not discard the unsaved changes.
  • Workaround.18: To quit the dirty workspace, logoff of Project “Houston” then logon again.

Major functionalities missing in canonical scenarios

  • Issue.19: The user interface does not support drop object operations.
  • Workaround.19: Use Transact-SQL to drop objects in the Transact-SQL Editor.

Provide Suggestions or Log a Bug on the Connect Site

This release of Project “Houston” is not supported by standard Microsoft support services. For community-based support, post a question to the SQL Azure Labs MSDN forums. The product team will do its best to answer any questions posted there.

To log a bug about Project “Houston” in this release, use the following steps:

  1. Navigate to Https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/Feedback.
  2. You will be prompted to search our existing feedback to verify that your issue has not already been submitted.
  3. Once you verify that your issue has not been submitted, scroll down the page and click on the orange Submit Feedback button in the left-hand navigation bar.
  4. On the Select Feedback form, click SQL Server Bug Form.
  5. On the feedback form, select Version = Houston build – CTP1 – 10.50.9700.8.
  6. On the feedback form, select Category = Tools (Houston).
  7. Complete your request.
  8. Click Submit to send the form to Microsoft.

To provide a suggestion about Project “Houston” in this release, use the following steps:

  1. Navigate to Https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/Feedback.
  2. You will be prompted to search our existing feedback to verify that your issue has not already been submitted.
  3. Once you verify that your issue has not been submitted, scroll down the page and click on the orange Submit Feedback button in the left-hand navigation bar.
  4. On the Select Feedback form, click SQL Server Suggestion Form.
  5. On the feedback form, select Category = Tools (Houston).
  6. Complete your request.
  7. Click Submit to send the form to Microsoft.

If you have any questions about the feedback submission process or about accessing the portal, send us an e-mail message: sqlconne@microsoft.com.