As part of our continued commitment to provide regular and frequent updates to SQL Azure, I am pleased to announce Service Update 4 (SU4). SU4 is now live with three new updates - database copy, improved help system, and deployment of our web-based tool Code-Named "Houston" to multiple data centers. Here are the details:

  • Support for database copy: Database copy allows you to make a real-time complete snapshot of your database into a different server in the data center. This new copy feature is the first step in backup support for SQL Azure, allowing you to get a complete backup of any SQL Azure database before making schema or database changes to the source database. The ability to snapshot a database easily is our top requested feature for SQL Azure. Note that this feature is in addition to our automated database replication, which keeps your data always available. The relevant MSDN Documentation is available here, titled: Copying Databases in SQL Azure.

  • Update on "Houston": Microsoft Project Code-Named "Houston" is a light weight web-based database management tool for SQL Azure. Houston, which runs on top of Windows Azure, is now available in multiple datacenters, reducing the latency between the application and your SQL Azure database.