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Azure SQL Database Web and Business edition retirement September 12th, 2015

In September 2014, we announced the retirement of the Azure SQL Database Web and Business editions in favor of our new Basic, Standard, and Premium service tiers. The new tiers are designed to provide highly predictable performance.

In September 2014, we announced the retirement of the Azure SQL Database Web and Business editions in favor of our new Basic, Standard, and Premium service tiers. The new tiers are designed to provide highly predictable performance and include features like point-in-time-restore and hourly billing and more that are not available in the Web and Business editions. With Azure SQL Database Update (V12), we introduced even more performance, extended T-SQL surface area, and more.

Call to action:

  1. Inspect any code and scripts you have that make API calls to create databases and servers to accommodate the new defaults. (Complete this review prior to August 1, 2015)
  2. Where code or scripts explicitly create Web or Business databases or V2 servers change it to create Basic, Standard or Premium databases on V12 servers. (Complete these changes prior to September 12, 2015)
  3. Upgrade your existing Web/Business databases to the Basic, Standard, and Premium tiers.(Complete these changes prior to September 12, 2015)


#1 Update your APIs calls: Starting August 1st, SQL Database will change the API defaults to use the latest service update (V12). Server version 12 will become the default when creating new servers. Standard S0 will become the new default performance level when creating a new database if you don’t specify a performance level.  APIs that allow management operations will be impacted by this change, including PowerShell, C#, REST, and T-SQL APIs.

#2 Start creating V12 servers and Basic, Standard and Premium databases: Starting September 12th, you  will no longer be able to create new Web or Business edition databases or version 2 servers. You will be able to continue to create Basic, Standard and Premium databases on existing version 2 servers.

#3 Upgrade your existing Web/Business databases: Starting September 12th we will begin automatically upgrading Web & Business edition databases to Basic and Standard performance levels based on the billable size. You will receive a 14-day notice email (sent to the account administrator) before the upgrade takes place.

How does this impact you?

All your existing databases will continue to work at all times. However, if you do not update your code and scripts that create servers and databases to accommodate the changes in the APIs your code and scripts may not create the desired server version or database edition, or, in the worst case, may fail with an error message from the system indicating that the requested version or edition is not supported .

We strongly recommended that you review and upgrade your existing Web and Business edition databases early. If you do not upgrade these databases, we will automatically upgrade them to Basic and Standard performance levels based on their billable size as described in the table below.

Web and Business database size New performance level
< 2GB Basic
2GB – 6GB S0
6GB – 25GB S1
25GB – 75GB S2
> 75GB S3

This mapping guarantees that your monthly bill will stay the same (or in some cases where you have large DBs that map to lower performance-levels it may even reduce your bill). For the vast majority of databases, this will provide the same performance experience you have today with Web & Business edition databases.

In just a few cases it is possible that this mapping will degrade the performance experience of a database. We recommend that you use the  service tier advisor or the upgrade cookbook to determine whether any of your databases will be affected. Using these tools, you will be able to assess which performance level is right for each of your databases, which may be different to the performance level chosen by default based on the billable size of the database. You should also consider optimizing your workload so that it will run in a lower performance level.

When will Microsoft upgrade your servers?

Upgrades will take place over many months. Customers with no impact to either their bill or performance will be upgraded first. If you have more than 30 Web/Business databases, we will not start the upgrades until Elastic Database Pools have been generally available for at least 90 days. This will give you the opportunity to manually upgrade those databases directly into one or more pools.

Because of the large number of upgrades from V12 and from Web/Business to Basic and Standard, upgrades have already started for databases that will not be impacted by the change. You will receive a notification email 14 days before scheduled upgrade. You can opt-out of the upgrade until 9/12. After that date upgrade will be mandatory.

If you have questions?