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Azure SQL Database

Build apps that scale with the pace of your business with a managed and intelligent SQL database in the cloud

Build apps faster on a fully managed SQL database

Part of the Azure SQL family, Azure SQL Database is an always-up-to-date, fully managed relational database service built for the cloud. Build your next app with the simplicity and flexibility of a multi-model database that scales to meet demand. Gain near real-time insights without impacting performance with Azure Synapse Link for SQL Database.

Fully managed SQL database automates updates, provisioning, and backups so you can focus on application development

Flexible and responsive serverless compute and Hyperscale storage rapidly adapt to your changing requirements

Layers of protection, built-in controls, and intelligent threat detection keep your data secure

Built-in AI and high availability maintain peak performance and durability with an SLA of up to 99.995 percent

Fully managed and always on the latest version of SQL

Eliminate the complexity of configuring and managing high availability, tuning, backups, and other database tasks with a fully managed SQL database. Accelerate your application development in the only cloud database with evergreen SQL using the latest SQL Server capabilities, and never worry about updates, upgrades, or end of support again.

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Rapidly deliver modern, intelligent apps

Build applications locally or in the cloud on popular platforms and frameworks with driver support for the most common languages, and simplify development with native support for services like Azure Functions and Azure App Service. Meet the demands of modern applications and work with data in multiple formats, like graph, JSON, spatial and more. Optimise price performance and manage the multi-tenant complexity of your software as a service (SaaS) applications by sharing resources through elastic pools.

Hyperscale your most demanding workloads

Break through the resource limitations that can affect your application's performance. Azure SQL Database Hyperscale adapts to changing requirements by rapidly scaling storage up to 100 TB. Flexible, cloud-native architecture allows storage to grow as needed and enables you to back up data almost instantaneously and restore your cloud database in minutes—regardless of the size of the data operation.

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Optimise costs with compute that scales automatically

Build modern apps your way with provisioned and serverless compute options. Azure SQL Database serverless simplifies performance management and helps developers build apps faster and more efficiently with compute resources that automatically scale based on workload demand.

SQL Database serverless is best for scenarios where usage is intermittent and unpredictable and where you pay only for compute resources you use on a per-second basis, which optimises overall price performance.

Save with the best total cost of ownership

Switch to Azure SQL Database and get better price performance than with other cloud providers. Azure SQL Database meets your mission-critical requirements and costs up to 86 percent less than the competition.1

Use Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server to maximise the value from your current licensing investments. Use your SQL Server licences with Software Assurance and save up to 55 percent compared to pay-as-you-go pricing on SQL Database.2

Azure SQL Database diagram showing TPC-E 3-year pricing comparison with AWS

Advanced data security

  • Enable tamper-evident, cryptographic verification for your centralised data stores from within your database with SQL Database ledger. No data migration or application changes required.
  • Remediate potential threats in real time with intelligent threat protection and proactive vulnerability assessment alerts.
  • Get industry-leading, multi-layered protection with built-in security controls including network security, encryption, and access and key management.
  • Take advantage of the most comprehensive compliance coverage of any cloud database service.
  • Protect your data with Always Encrypted technology, where encryption keys are never revealed to the SQL database engine.
  • Download the security infographic.

Pricing for the intelligent, relational cloud database service

Explore all SQL Database pricing options and find the performance that fits your workload.

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Reduce the cost of dev/test workloads with discounted rates.

Trusted by companies of all sizes

Reducing costs and delivering the right level of performance for customers

Scaling quickly to meet demand spikes from its large volume of users presented a challenge. Learn how Icertis reduced their costs and helped their customers get the right level of performance when they needed it with Azure SQL Database serverless.


Removing the bottlenecks to business growth

Learn how Paychex migrated to Azure SQL Database to handle their explosive growth. Using elastic pools, Paychex can deliver the app at scale with high performance and availability, while optimising their costs.


Boosting efficiency and scaling for growth

Learn how Axpo is using SQL Database serverless and Azure Machine Learning to evaluate the status and performance of its hydro plant equipment in real time.


Promoting growth and innovation with Hyperscale

ClearSale outgrew its on-premises platform and migrated to SQL Database Hyperscale. Learn how they can now process a virtually infinite number of transactions per minute and automatically scale to accommodate their growth.


Unlocking new scale and efficiency

Learn how Schneider Electric consolidated 1,500 virtual machines (VMs), databases and reporting apps into a single Hyperscale database with the power to scale with the company’s needs.

Schneider Electric

Benefits of blockchain in a centralised and familiar SQL environment saved hundreds of hours that would have been required to develop and manage its own blockchain, delivering faster payments, freeing trillions of dollars of capital, and providing better experiences to their customers in the process.

Documentation, learning and migration resources

Migrate to SQL Database

Get started right away with the Azure Migration Centre.


Explore tutorials, samples and other documentation to learn how to use SQL Database.

Microsoft Learn

Expand your knowledge and earn certifications with hands-on online courses.

  • Azure SQL Database provides the following deployment options:

    • As a single database with its own set of resources managed via a logical server.
    • As a pooled database in an elastic pool, with a shared set of resources managed through a logical server.

    In general, elastic pools are designed for a typical software-as-a-service (SaaS) application pattern, with one database per customer or tenant. Purchasing individual databases and over-provisioning to meet the variable demand for each database is often not cost efficient. With pools, you manage the collective performance, and the databases scale up or down automatically. Our intelligent engine recommends a pool for databases when a usage pattern warrants it. For details, see elastic pool guidance.

  • The Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server helps you maximise the value from your current licensing investments and accelerate your migration to the cloud. Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server is an Azure-based benefit that enables you to use your SQL Server licences with active Microsoft Software Assurance to pay a reduced rate ("base rate") on vCore-based Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Managed Instance. You may apply this benefit even if the SKU is active, but note that the base rate will be applied from the time you select it in the portal. No credit will be issued retroactively.

    You can activate the Azure Hybrid Benefit via the Azure portal by attesting you have sufficient active licences with Software Assurance.

    The Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server provides:

    • The ability to move your licences to a fully managed platform-as-a-service (PaaS) product. Azure is the only cloud that provides this ability. Amazon Web Services Relational Database Service (RDS) is not eligible for bring-your-own-licence (BYOL) and must be offered as "licence-included."
    • Four cores in the cloud for every one core on-premises for Enterprise edition customers in the general-purpose or Hyperscale service tiers.
    • 180 days of dual-use rights to apply to current deployment (on-premises or third-party cloud) and in Azure to allow for data migration.
  • No. Azure SQL Database is a fully managed database service, which means that Microsoft operates SQL Server for you, and ensures its availability and performance. SQL Database also includes innovative features to enhance your business continuity, such as built-in high availability. A comprehensive security portfolio allows you to implement intelligent features like threat detection, so that you don't have to worry about administering or maintaining your SQL Server databases. View the full feature comparison of Azure SQL Database and SQL Server.
  • The vCore-based service tiers are primarily differentiated by availability, storage type and input/output per second:

    • General purpose offers a budget-oriented and balanced set of compute and storage options where input/output (I/O) performance or failover time is not the priority.
    • Hyperscale is appropriate for most business workloads, optimised for online transaction processing (OLTP) and hybrid transactional analytical workloads (HTAP), with highly scalable storage size, read scale-out and fast database restore capabilities.
    • Business critical is best for OLTP applications with high transaction rate and low I/O latency. It offers highest resilience to failures and fast failovers by using multiple synchronously updated replicas.
  • Connectivity between your Azure SQL Database and the Azure internet gateway is guaranteed at least 99.99 percent of the time, regardless of your service tier. The remaining 0.01 percent is reserved for patches, upgrades, and failovers. For more information, read the SLA. For information about the availability architecture of Azure SQL Database, see high availability and Azure SQL Database.

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1Price-performance claim based on data from a study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by GigaOm in August 2019. The study compared price performance between a single, 80 vCore, Gen 5 Azure SQL Database on the business critical service tier and the db.r4.16x large offering for Amazon Web Services Relational Database Service (AWS RDS) for SQL Server. Benchmark data is taken from a GigaOm Analytic Field Test derived from a recognised industry standard, TPC Benchmark™ E (TPC-E) and is based on a mixture of read-only and update intensive transactions that simulate activities found in complex OLTP application environments. Price-performance is calculated by GigaOm as the cost of running the cloud platform continuously for three years divided by transactions per second throughput. Prices are based on publicly available US pricing in East US for Azure SQL Database and US East (Ohio) for AWS RDS as of August 2019. Price-performance results are based upon the configurations detailed in the GigaOm Analytic Field Test. Actual results and prices may vary based on configuration and region.

2Savings based on eight vCore Managed Instance Business Critical in East US Region, running for 730 hours per month. Savings are calculated from full price (licence included) against base rate (applying Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server), which excludes Software Assurance cost for SQL Server Enterprise edition, which may vary based on Enterprise Agreement. Actual savings may vary based on region, instance size and performance tier. Prices as of February 2020, subject to change.

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