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Azure SQL Database v12 Improvements

Author by Concurrency Blog

Windows Azure has had SQL Database available as database-as-a-service for years, but it was not widely adopted because many features that were in the box product simply weren't available. However, that's changing! As of March 1, 2015, SQL Database v12 went into General Availability in Azure. With this update, many features have been made available that make SQL Database far more enticing. A short list of the new features is:
  • Improved security.
    • You can create database-contained users - there's no need for a corresponding server-level login.
    • You can now implement row-level tracking. This means the rows returned when a query is executed can vary depending on the user that runs it.
  • Improved performance.
    • At the premium levels, parallelism has been introduced, along with higher IOPS and lower latency.
  • Improved administration.
    • More DMVs, a necessary part of my day-to-day work with SQL Server, are available. A few are sys.dm_db_file_space_usage, sys.dm_database_encryption_keys, and sys.dm_clr_properties (now that safe CLR assemblies are allowed).
    • More DBCC commands are available. Most important is DBCC CHECKDB, but CHECKALLOC, CHECKFILEGROUP, CHECKTABLE, and many others are included.
    • Change tracking has been implemented.
  • More programming options.
    • A table can be created as a heap. This means that SELECT...INTO is now available as a data loading mechanism.
    • XML indexes can be created.
    • Columnstore indexes are now available!
    • Window functions can be executed.
With all of these new features, SQL Database can be a great solution for your relational database needs. Are you interested in trying Azure SQL Database now? Get a free trial today!

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