SWEET! you can now access windows Azure Storage Directly from SQL Server Management Studio. This means you can now simply right click on a backup taken in SQL Azure and select “Import Data-Tier Application” to import the “bacpac” file onto your on-premise SQL Server. 2-3 clicks of the mouse and cloud zapped to local database.
You can also now right click on any on-premise database and select “Export Data-Tier Application” to create a bacpac and upload it direct into SQL Azure. Check out the new export screen shot below.
I’m still a big fan of the Import Wizard on codeplex (http://sqlazuremw.codeplex.com/) as it automatically fixes up minor issues like missing clustered indexes. However, the bacpac way is going to be a lot more efficient for larger data sets as it is compressed. You can even rename it to a “zip” file to poke around.
Holy crap there is also a “Deploy” to SQL Azure option in SQL 2012 RTM, where you can pick also create the database and provisioning is all automated. Nice..
So its pretty good for a v1.0, but what is it missing?
Well life would be just complete if you could right click on a SQL Azure database and the “Export” Task did an export from SQL Azure rather than dragging everything locally and doing and creating a bacpac from your machine. If anyone else would like this please vote on connect item I just added.