Discovering Windows Azure Alerts (Preview)

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Last week, a new preview feature was launched on Windows Azure: Azure Alerts.

This feature is really easy to understand/use.

To play with it, go into your Settings workspace in the Azure Portal:

Once there, you will arrive to a filtered view:

This view will be helpful to filter your alerts when you've quite a few numbers of them.

To create a new alert, just click the "Add Rule" in the taskbar.

A new view will show to define your alert:

There, you can choose a name and a description (the first 2 textboxes).

The 3 dropdowns under are used as dependent filters.

In my case, I choose the X subscription, the Virtual Machine Service and finally one of my Virtual Machines.

The different service types where to put an alert are: Web Site, Virtual Machine, Mobile Service and Cloud Service:

Once done, you can go on the next view and select a metric (CPU %, Disk R/W, Network In/Out) you want to watch:

Here, I'll use the CPU Percentage and for my test, I'll set the Threshold to 1 (so I'm sure to receive an alert!J)

The units are: % for the CPU, Bytes/s for the Disk R/W and Bytes for the Network In/Out.

In the Alert Evaluation Windows, you'll choose a time span during which you want to monitor the metric.

Here are the values of this dropdown:

Finally, you can choose to send an email to admins and co-admin or to anyone else (my case here) and to enable the rule.

Once created, you'll see this new rule in the list of rules of the first view (settings – ALERTS):

From there, you can now edit, disable or delete the rule with the Taskbar:

My alert status is marked as "Not Activated". It means it's enabled but not activated.

If your alert is disabled, you'll see this:

When the alert is activated, you'll see this message in your taskbar:

And on the settings – ALERT, you'll see your alert as active:

And in the Dashboard for this alert, you can see this useful history information:

And here is how the email alert looks like:

My feeling about this new feature is quite positive. It's simple to use and very effective.

Waiting to see what will be added/updated between the preview and final version! J

Posted in: Windows Azure   Tags:

We all are living in the same world! Business Intelligence for Visual Studio 2012!

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Today, I started the development of a new SSIS package inside… Visual Studio 2012! J

Yes, since a few days, you can download the Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools - Business Intelligence for VS 2012 there!

More responsive and nice-looking designers! J

And easy way to migrate your old projects.

Here are the different templates :

So, same world for .NET/Sharepoint/BI/Office … developers!

And, just for fun, if you switch the theme of VS 2012 from Light to Dark (Tools – Options – Environment – General) :

Here is the result:

SQL Azure Database Manager – Part 2 : Now you’re in, take a tour

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This is the second part of the SQL Azure Database Manager series. The first part is here.

So, now you're connected to your database by using the SQL Azure Database Manager.

Here is the detailed interface provided :


The different parts of the interface are :

A toolbar :

Here from the Database toolbar, you can have access to the most common tasks that I'll explain gradually.

Note that on the top of the toolbar, I've a small buttons panel. The second button will change depending on the content currently loaded in the designer/editor view.

In the case I'm working on a table with the table designer, the buttons will then be Database and Table :

In the case I'm working on a view with the view designer, the buttons will then be Database and View :

So you understood that the second button will be contextualized. And by clicking the first one, you can come back to the Database Toolbar.

A navigation pane :

This is where you'll find your Tables, Views and Stored Procedures.

This is an accordion control, so you can choose the detail to deploy.

At the top of the pane is a filter text box. So if I type the term Stored, here will be the filtered result of the previous snapshot: 


The editor/designer view.

This is a multi-tab view where you will :

  • Design your tables.
  • Edit your data.
  • Edit/Run your queries.
  • Edit your stored procedures.
  • Edit your views.

The start page show information (inside a beautiful cube) about your database like the status, the collation, the compatibility level, …

And if you turn the cube, you'll have a 3D chart displaying the data storage used.

The status bar

In the status bar, you'll find information about: the server FQN & the database you're connected to, the user you're logged in and a support ID.

You can logout from the SQL Azure Database Manager by using the small upper right link.

More to come in the next part! :)

Posted in: Windows Azure | SQL Azure   Tags:

SQL Azure Database Manager – Part 1 : How to connect to your SQL Azure DB

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The SQL Azure Database Manager is a light and easy to use tool to manage you SQL Azure Database.

This tool runs inside your browser thanks to the Silverlight power (remember, the dead Silverlight!).

The URL to access the SQL Azure DB Manager is :


Edit (14/12/2010)

I was contacted by Microsoft today. Working with a direct URL is a bad practice.

Here is their message :

In the post you reference . We have instances of database manager co-located in each of the SQL Azure datacenters. The best practice would be to launch database manager directly from the portal, instead of hitting the url directly to ensure that you are running on an instance of database manager that is closest to your data. That url points to one of our European datacenters and may not be the best launch point for it(depending on where your data is located).


One you get the Silverlight application loaded, insert :

  • Your SQL Azure Server Name (Fully Qualified DNS Name)
  • Your database Name
  • Your login Name
  • Your password.

That's it! Click on the Connect button an you're in!

If you've any problem connecting, you'll see a small error link :

Click on it and you'll have a more detailed error message:

Once the door is open, you'll meet this new view :

More to come… :)

Posted in: SQL Azure   Tags:

Extra Small Instance available now with Azure SDK 1.3

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If you install the last version (1.3) of the Azure SDK, you'll now have the possibility to use an Extras small VM size :

For more information about the VM sizes :

To download the 1.3 version of Azure SDK :

Posted in: Windows Azure   Tags: