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Creating Tables with Project Houston

Creating Tables with Project Houston

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This is the second post in a series about getting started with Microsoft Project Code-Named “Houston” (Houston) (Part 1). In part 1 we covered the basics, logging in and navigation. In this post we will cover how to use the table designer in Project Houston. As a quick reminder, Microsoft Project Code-Named “Houston” (Houston) is a light weight database management tool for SQL Azure and is a community technology preview (CTP). Houston can be used for basic database management tasks like authoring and executing queries, designing and editing a database schema, and editing table data.

Currently, SQL Server Management Studio 2008 R2 doesn’t have a table designer implemented for SQL Azure. If you want to create tables in SQL Server Management Studio 2008 you have to type a CREATE TABLE script and execute it as a query. However, Project Houston has a fully implemented web-based table designer. Currently, Project Houston is a community technology preview (CTP).

You can start using Houston by going to: http://www.sqlazurelabs.com/houston.aspx (The SQL Azure labs site is the location for projects that are either in CTP or incubation form). Once you have reached the site login to your server and database to start designing a table. For more information on logging in and navigation in Houston, see the first blog post.

Designing a Table

Once you have logged in, the database navigation bar will appear in the top left of the screen. It should look like this:

clip_image001

To create a new table:

  1. Click on “New Table”
  2. At this point, the navigation bar will change to the Table navigation. It will look like this:

     

    clip_image002

  3. A new table will appear in the main window displaying the design mode for the table.

    clip_image004

The star next to the title indicates that the table is new and unsaved. Houston automatically adds three columns to your new table. You can rename them or modify the types depending on your needs.

If you want to delete one of the newly added columns, just click on the column name so that the column is selected and press the Delete button in the Columns section of the ribbon bar.

If you want to add another column, just click on the + Column button or the New button in the Columns section of the ribbon bar.

Here is a quick translation from Houston terms to what we are used to with SQL Server tools:

  • Is Required? means that data in this column cannot be null. There must be data in the column.
  • Is Primary Key? means that the column will be a primary key and that a clustered index will be created for this column.
  • Is Identity? means that the column is an auto incrementing identity column, usually associate with the primary key. It is only available on the bigint, int, decimal, float, smallint, and tinyint data types.

Saving

When you are ready to commit your table to SQL Azure you need to save the table using the Save button in the ribbon bar.

clip_image005

We’re aware of a few limitations with the current offering such as creating tables with multiple primary key fails, and some renaming of tables and column and causes errors when saving. As with any CTP we are looking for feedback and suggestions, please log any bugs you find.

Feedback or Bugs?

Again, since this is CTP Project “Houston” is not supported by standard Microsoft support services. For community-based support, post a question to the SQL Azure Labs MSDN forums. The product team will do its best to answer any questions posted there.

To log a bug about Project “Houston” in this release, use the following steps:

  1. Navigate to Https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/Feedback.
  2. You will be prompted to search our existing feedback to verify that your issue has not already been submitted.
  3. Once you verify that your issue has not been submitted, scroll down the page and click on the orange Submit Feedback button in the left-hand navigation bar.
  4. On the Select Feedback form, click SQL Server Bug Form.
  5. On the feedback form, select Version = Houston build – CTP1 – 10.50.9700.8.
  6. On the feedback form, select Category = Tools (Houston).
  7. Complete your request.
  8. Click Submit to send the form to Microsoft.

To provide a suggestion about Project “Houston” in this release, use the following steps:

  1. Navigate to Https://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/Feedback.
  2. You will be prompted to search our existing feedback to verify that your issue has not already been submitted.
  3. Once you verify that your issue has not been submitted, scroll down the page and click on the orange Submit Feedback button in the left-hand navigation bar.
  4. On the Select Feedback form, click SQL Server Suggestion Form.
  5. On the feedback form, select Category = Tools (Houston).
  6. Complete your request.
  7. Click Submit to send the form to Microsoft.

If you have any questions about the feedback submission process or about accessing the portal, send us an e-mail message: sqlconne@microsoft.com.

Summary

This is just the beginning of our Microsoft Project Code-Named “Houston” (Houston) blog posts, make sure to subscribe to the RSS feed to be alerted as we post more information.

  • The link above ( manage.sqlazurelabs.com) doesn't work but I found it here: www.sqlazurelabs.com/houston.aspx

  • thanks, lee!  appreciate the heads up on that bad link.  it's fixed now.

  • Here it is two years later and SQL Azure still doesn't have a design mode in SSMS 2012. Holy crap people...  I used VS 2012 to make it work, and I still had to alter scripts. It makes me realize that Azure isn't something I would choose if I had the choice...

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