We have launched the new Windows Azure Platform Management Portal, and with it the database manager for SQL Azure (formerly known as Project Houston). Now, you can manage all your Windows Azure platform resources from a single location – including your SQL Azure database.
The management portal seamless allows for complete administration of all Windows Azure platform resources, streamlines administration of creating and managing SQL Azure databases, and allows for ultra-efficient administrator of SQL Azure.
The new management portal is 100% Silverlight and features getting started wizards to walk you through the process of creating subscriptions, servers, and databases along with integrated help, and a quick link ribbon bar.
The database manager (formerly known as Project “Houston”) is a lightweight and easy to use database management tool for SQL Azure databases. It is designed specifically for web developers and other technology professionals seeking a straightforward solution to quickly develop, deploy, and manage their data-driven applications in the cloud. Project “Houston” provides a web-based database management tool for basic database management tasks like authoring and executing queries, designing and editing a database schema, and editing table data.
Major features in this release include:
To reach the new management portal you need go to: http://windows.azure.com; and for the time being the old management portal can be reached at: http://sql.azure.com.
Along with the new Management Portal the Windows Azure team has shipped the Windows Azure SDK V1.3 (November 2010) , for more information see the announcement on the Windows Azure blog.
And yes, remember that you can get started with SQL Azure using the free trial offer.