Public preview: Azure SQL Database update

11 December 2014

We’ve introduced the public preview of the Azure SQL Database. This release brings near-complete SQL Server engine compatibility, in addition to performance that will help streamline SQL Server application migrations to Azure. This preview marks the first step in delivering the next generation of the Azure SQL database service that will bring customers more compatibility, flexibility, and performance. Details about this preview are available on the Getting Started page; however, highlights include:
  • Easier management of large databases Supports heavier workloads with parallel queries (Premium only), table partitioning, online indexing, and worry-free large index rebuilds with the size limit of 2 gigabyte (GB) removed, and alter database command.
  • Up to 100 times performance improvements* Support for in-memory columnstore index queries (Premium only) for data mart and smaller analytic workloads.
  • Support for key programmability functions Drive more robust application designs with CLR, T-SQL functions in Windows , XML indexing, and change tracking.
  • Improved monitoring and troubleshooting Extended Events (XEvents) and visibility into over 100 new table views via an expanded set of Database Management Views.
  • New S3 performance level Offers more pricing flexibility between Standard and Premium. S3 delivers 100 DTU and all the features available in the Standard tier for $0.2016/hour ($0.1008/hour during preview). For more information, see the SQL Database Pricing page.
To try this preview, please sign up via the Preview features page or via the new Azure Preview portal. For more information, please visit the Microsoft Azure Blog. For a comprehensive look at pricing, please visit the SQL Database Pricing page. * These performance improvements are based on internal tests, which measured query speeds with and without using the columnstore index in Azure SQL Database. Individual customer results may vary.

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