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What’s New in SQL Azure Management Portal? (Part II of II)

Publicado em 9 setembro, 2011

This post, which is the second part of a two-part series on SQL Azure, focuses on the features and functionality in the new SQL Azure Management Portal.  Click here to read Part I.

(Updated on 13 September 2011 with additional information on pre-requisites, system requirements and known issues.)

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of the new SQL Azure Management Portal, which provides an enhanced user interface and additional functionality to administer your SQL Azure server and databases.  The new SQL Azure Management portal replaces the online Database Manager tool that previously provided capabilities to do basic schema and data management of your SQL Azure databases.  The new portal includes all the functionality that was part of the Database Manager tool and also includes database administration capabilities.  The administration feature include the ability to deploy and extract data-tier applications (DAC).

Pre-requisites

To use the SQL Azure Management Portal and manage your SQL Azure server, you need to enable firewall rules that allows the portal to have access to your SQL Azure server.  You'll first need to add a firewall rule that adds the client IP address (addresses) or the computer that you will be using to access the SQL Azure Management portal.  Additionally, you should also select "Allow other Windows Azure services to access this server", which will add another firewall rule.  Please refer to the "System Requirements & Known Issues" section below for detailed information on enabling firewall rules.

SQL Azure Management Portal depends on Silverlight 4 runtime.  If you have a newer version of Silverlight runtime (Silverlight 5 beta or RC), the SQL Azure Management Porrtal will error out during login with a message "A strong name key pair is required to emit a strong-named dynamic assembly".  Please refer to "System Requirements & Known Issues" for more details.

Getting Started

To launch the SQL Azure Management Portal, you should be logged into the Windows Azure Platform Management Portal. Once logged in to the Windows Azure Platform Management Portal, please select the database workspace and then select the server you would like to manage and then click the “Manage” button in the “Server” section in the ribbon bar.

Figure 1. Windows Azure Platform Management Portal, Database Section, Ribbon

This launches the SQL Azure Management Portal. To sign in and manage this server you will need the user name and password of an administrator (server-level principle) of your SQL Azure server. This is the administrator user name and password that was set up when this SQL Azure server was created.

Figure 2. SQL Azure Management Portal, Login

Once successfully logged in, you will be taken to the overview page of the SQL Azure Management Portal.  The overview provides a brief synopsis of the capabilities of the portal with links to the MSDN documentation explaining how to accomplish administration and schema design tasks using the portal.

 

Figure 3. SQL Azure Management Portal

Similar to the Windows Azure Platform Management Portal, the SQL Azure Management Portal is also organized into separate workspaces which you can navigate through.  Each workspace has its corresponding set of actions & tasks that can be accomplished and these tasks can be launched from the ribbon.  The Q2 2011 Service Release has three workspaces but in future Service Releases, we will be adding more workspaces to enable advanced monitoring and troubleshooting of SQL Azure databases functionality.

Figure 4. Workspace & Corresponding Ribbon

Administration – Database Life Cycle

The Database Life Cycle workspace is a central place to administer all your databases. You can create new databases or drop existing databases as well as deploy a data-tier application using a DAC pack or extract a data-tier application from a SQL Azure database.

Design – Database Schema and Data

The Database Schema and Data workspace replaces the existing Database Manager tool and provides a lightweight and easy to use schema design experience.  It is targeted at technology professionals seeking a straightforward solution to quickly develop, deploy, and manage their data-driven applications in the cloud. You can accomplish basic database design tasks such as authoring and executing queries, designing and editing a database schema, and editing table data.

System Requirements & Known Issues

Firewall - Steps to update the Firewall rule for providing access to SQL Azure Management Service to allow "other Windows Azure services to access this server":

  • In the Windows Azure Management Portal, select the SQL Azure server that you would like to update the firewall.
  • Click on the Firewall rules button in the Server information section
  • Check the button that says "allow other Windows Azure services to access this server"

To add a new firewall rule:

  • In the Windows Azure Management Portal, select the SQL Azure server that you would like to update the firewall
  • Click on the firewall rules button in the Server information section
  • Click Add
  • Please follow directions to add a new rule that allows the current client IP or a range of IP addresses
  • Your current IP address shown is the IP address that is externally-facing and may be different from the local machine IP address (in the case of a network behind a proxy) and is the IP address or range that should be added to the list)

Figure 5.  Adding a Firewall Rule

Silverlight - The SQL Azure Management portal requires the latest release of Microsoft Silverlight runtime (currently Silverlight 4.0) to be installed.  At the time of this writing we have identified an issue where the SQL Azure Management portal does not enable you to login if you have the beta or release candidate version of Silverlight 5 installed. We are actively working on a fix for this which will be rolled out in a few weeks’ time.  If you have a pre-release version of Silverlight 5 installed and would like to use the SQL Azure Management portal, we recommend you to uninstall the pre-release version of Silverlight 5 and install Silverlight 4 runtime.

Retiring the Database Manager Tool

As previously mentioned with the Q2 2011 Service Release of SQL Azure, we are now retiring the Database Manager tool that was available for managing SQL Azure schema and data. If you have a saved bookmark for the Database Manager tool URL, we recommend you to change the bookmark to point to the Windows Azure Platform Management Portal.

Sharing Your Feedback

For community-based support, post a question to the SQL Azure MSDN forums. The product team will do its best to answer any questions posted there.

To log a bug 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 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 bug form, select Version = SQL Azure Database
  6. On the bug form, select Category = Tools.
  7. Complete your request.
  8. Click Submit to send the form to Microsoft.

To provide feedback about SQL Azure Management Portal 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 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 bug form, select Category = SQL Azure Database.
  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.