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SQL Azure and the DAC Pac

WallWhen last we left our intrepid hero he had successfully deployed to SQL Azure using the Data-Tier Application Package, a DAC pac. It was easy and I had a database in place in nothing flat. There really weren’t any issues worth mentioning. I wasn’t crazy about the fact that unless I had Visual Studio 2010 I couldn’t edit the Data-Tier apps or get them into source control, but there you.

So, assuming this is a real production application, I’ve just realized that I need to get a new procedure into my database. If I just got and run the script to create the procedure then I’ll be breaking the link between my database and the DAC pac (and yes, I still enjoy saying that knowing that blood pressure is rising with each utterance), which would be bad. Instead, I need to create an updated DAC pac and then upgrade the existing deployment. There’s a bunch of information on how to do this right in the Books Online so it shouldn’t be too hard.

Then, I right click on my DAC pac on my SQL Azure database and here’s my menu:


Hmm… But I’ve been testing DAC pacs on my local machine and when I right click on one of my tests there I get this menu:


What’s missing? And no, it’s not PowerShell for crying out loud. No Upgrade Data-tier Application menu choice on SQL Azure.

But, I thought I was supposed to deploy from the DAC pac? Well, yes, you’re supposed to deploy, but you shouldn’t need to upgrade, at least not on SQL Azure. And yes, all the words, especially the four letter ones, that just went through your head have been going through mine. You can’t deploy changes to a SQL Azure using a DAC pac.

But, Microsoft is aware of the issue with the DAC pac. I don’t know if they’re working on making it functional in SQL Azure, they may well be. But, they are working on the SQL Azure Migration Wizard. More on that in our next installment. Same Azure-Time. Same Azure-Channel.

The Scary DBA

I have twenty+ years experience in IT. That time was spent in technical support, development and database administration. I work forRed Gate Software as a Product Evangelist. I write articles for publication at SQL Server Central, Simple-Talk, PASS Book Reviews and SQL Server Standard. I have published two books, ”Understanding SQL Server Execution Plans” and “SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled.” I’m one of the founding officers of the Southern New England SQL Server Users Group and its current president. I also work on part-time, short-term, off-site consulting contracts. In 2009 and 2010 I was awarded as a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. In the past I’ve been called rough, intimidating and scary. To which I usually reply, “Good.” You can contact me through grant -at- scarydba dot kom (unobfuscate as necessary).


Posted by Steve Jones on 3 May 2011

I can't believe they left out upgrade. I know it's harder than deploy, but the idea that everything will be correct on the first deployment, or you while destroy and recreate everything is crazy.

Posted by a on 6 May 2011

You can continue disbelieving.  :)

DAC upgrade support for Azure is available from within Visual Studio 2010 SP1 when deploying your project. Additionally, the upgrade wizard you are referring to in your article will be updated in SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1. You can try SP1 out ahead of time by installing the CTP: www.microsoft.com/.../details.aspx

Then you can upgrade to Azure all you like.

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