Creating an SQL Databases – New Portal

Another post for me that is simple and hopefully serves as an example for people trying to get blogging as #SQLNewBloggers.

I was looking to do some testing recently, but needed a v12 SQL Azure database. The test system that I have in Azure is v11, and I needed an upgrade. I clicked the upgrade button, and it was really slow to change from v11 to v12.  It’s easier now because I think all new databases you create are v12.

I was impatient, and ended up creating a new one. I decided to do a quick walkthrough of the process.

Getting Started

I connected to Azure and went into the new (Preview) Portal. I couldn’t find anything in the old portal, so keep tat in mind. Since “old” and “new” are very relative terms in Azure, and I hate them, I’ve included lots of screenshots. Here’s the portal I used:


My first step was to go to the “Create” item and select Data + Storage. As you can see, there are all sorts of options. For this post, let’s create a new database.


Selecting “New SQL Database” gives me this set of options. The name is the big item here.


Obviously I wasn’t very creative with the name:


Next I decided to make this one blank. I wanted to do some testing, so I selected that. It’s nice to be able to create a database from a backup, especially if you are recovering from a “Whoops” mistake.


With that selected, I had this:


Now on to the pricing tier. You can go crazy here.


I went down to a Basic level, since that’s what I really need. A basic, small database for testing. It’s $5/month, but I have credits from my MSDN subscription, so to date, I haven’t paid for any of my testing on the low tier systems.


At each stage, I can see what I’ve selected. This is a good way to get started, but if you needed to do these are any scale or repeatability, learn to do it through PoSh.


My next step is to decide where this database lives. I need a server, which is strange to me. I want a database as a platform, but I think this is legacy for connection purposes, so I’ll make a new one.


I decided to make up some generic, boring name. I wasn’t feeling very creative today. I entered a password, but like with any password, I generated this in PasswordSafe first, then entered it here.

<securityrant> Please use a password manager, use strong passwords, and use separate ones for services. Using the same one for all your Azure stuff and other accounts is a bad idea. </securityrant>


Once I complete this, it’s listed under my SQL Database as the location for my data.


Change your collation if you like, but since I’m a unilingual American, this is what I choose.


I also need a resource group. I don’t have any, so I’ll need a new one.


Again, not creative. If you are doing this for something more than fooling around, spend 2 minutes thinking of some way you’ll classify stuff and use a name that makes sense.


I think we’re ready to go. Click “Create”.


Once it’s done, you’ll get a notification in the main portal. I do like that the notifications come up at the bottom, but they’re also annoying when they stack up. I’ll sometimes close them because I’m doing something else and not pay attention. However, that’s a “me” problem.paas_s

I allowed this to create a pin for me, and I can easily see my database here. If you have lots of stuff, you won’t want pins for most of them.


If I select the database, I can see details.


I can select “Settings” at the top and get more options. One of which is what I need. Note that the version is v12.


The Properties item gives me the ability to change a few things.


The Firewall allows me to limit access to specific hosts.


Auditing has the ability to let you audit by events, success of failure


If I want to audit things, I need a place where I can store the audit data. The cloud charges by everything, so be aware.


The item I really care about is the “Latest SQL database update” item. When I pick that I can see the items that will be enabled.


If I pick Users and tags, I can specify accounts and labels, but that’s not really important for a test system. Really it’s me using it, so I’ll leave those alone.

It’s really easy to set up, and worth practicing if you want some cloud experience. You can connect from SSMS and work with the system, which is really SQL Server, but if you have other stuff in the cloud, or an app, you can connect and see what is possible.

Be aware, however, that you get charged for this stuff. Use your MSN subscription and keep an eye on usage. It’s pretty cheap, but no one wants an unexpected bill. Be especially careful about VMs. Those can really rack up charges.




This one took awhile. After I completed the process, I immediately deleted the database and started to take screen shots as I went through the steps. The steps don’t take too long, but refreshes on the Portal are sometimes slow.

This actually sat in my drafts folder as a single sentence (creating an Azure db) and a bunch of pictures. It took me about 20 minutes to load the pictures into Live Writer and then work my way through them, adding notes. I also created a new database as I was writing this to walk through the same steps again (and then deleted it).


None I used. I’ve done this before and didn’t bother to look around. The Portal does a good job of leading you along.

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One Response to Creating an SQL Databases – New Portal

  1. Tom Strike says:

    Thanks Steve, I need to get comfortable with Azure for my next position so I know when it’s the right choice to use. This is a great starting point.

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