Use Microsoft Azure for Ad-Hoc Testing
Microsoft Azure provides a rich set of features which can be used and setup very easy and very quick. Therefore it’s the recommended way for doing ad-hoc tests and try out quick some things. In this post I will show how to use Microsoft Azure SQL Database to quick test some Transact-SQL statements. All interaction done with a relational database is done in SQL (Structured Query Language). SQL is a standard of both the International Organization for Standards (ISO) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Microsoft’s dialect of the SQL standard, which is used to interact with Microsoft’s SQL Server and Microsoft Azure SQL Database, is called Transact-SQL (T-SQL). T-SQL is the main language used to manage and manipulate data in Microsoft’s main relational database management system, SQL Server, whether on premise or in the cloud (Microsoft Azure SQL Database). If you don’t have a Microsoft Azure subscription until now, you can make use of 250 CHF voucher business subscription of Microsoft Azure. Have a look at Azure Trial Subscription for more information.
Create an Azure SQL Database
Now that you hopefully have an Azure subscription, you can create an Azure SQL Database instance to use for this post.
- Browse to http://portal.azure.com. If you are prompted to sign in, do so with the Microsoft account that is associated with your Azure subscription.
- At the bottom of the Hub menu (the vertical bar on the left), click New (represented by a + symbol if the menu is minimized), and then in the New blade that appears, click Databases, and then click SQL Database.
- In the SQL Database blade:
- Enter the name AdventureWorksLT
- In the Subscription box, ensure that your subscription is listed.
- In the Resource group section, ensure that New is selected, and enter TSQL_Quick_Try as the new resource group name.
- In the Select Source list, select Sample.
- In the Select sample section, ensure that AdventureWorksLT[V12] is selected.
- Click Server. Then click Create a new server and enter the following details and click OK.
- A unique Server name for your server (a red exclamation mark will be displayed if the name you have entered is invalid or already in use, otherwise a green tick is shown).
- A user name you want to assign to the Server admin login. This can be your name or some other name you’ll remember easily – however, you cannot use “Administrator”.
- A Password for your server administrator account. This must meet the password complexity rules for Azure SQL Database, so for example it cannot be blank or “password”.
- The Location where your server should be hosted. Choose the location nearest to you.
- Leave the option to allow Azure services to access the server selected (this opens an internal firewall port in the Azure datacenter to allow other Azure services to use the database).
- In the Pricing Tier section, select Basic.
- Ensure that your selections are similar to those below, and click Create.
- After a short time, your SQL Database will be created, and a notification is displayed on the dashboard. To view the blade for the database, click Resources Groups and then click on TSQL_Quick_Try Resource Group.
Configure Firewall Rules for your Azure SQL Database Server
- In the TSQL_Quick_Try blade, under Essentials, click the server name for your database server (which should be in the format server_name.database.windows.net). In my case that is
- In the blade for your SQL server, under Essentials, click Show firewall settings.
- In the Firewall settings blade, click the Add client IP icon to create a firewall rule for your client computer, and then click Save.
Note: Azure SQL Database uses firewall rules to control access to your database. If your computer’s public-facing IP address changes (or you want to use a different computer), you’ll need to repeat this step to allow access. Alternatively, you can modify the firewall settings for your Azure SQL Database server to allow a range of IP addresses – see the Azure SQL Database documentation for details of how to do this.
Installing and Connecting from a Client Tool
SQL Server Management Studio is the primary management tool for Microsoft SQL Server, and you can also use it to manage and query Azure SQL Database. If you do not already have SQL Server Management Studio installed, you can download it from Download SQL Server Management Studio (16.5). When the download is complete, run the executable file to install SQL Server management Studio. After installing SQL Server Management Studio, you can start it and connect to your Azure SQL Database server by selecting the option to use SQL Server authentication, specifying the fully-qualified name of your Azure SQL Database server (
<your_server_name>.database.windows.net), and entering your user name in the format
<your_user_name>@<your_server_name> and password, as shown here:
After connecting, you can create a new query and run it by clicking Execute, and you can save and open Transact-SQL scripts. Be sure to select the AdventureWorksLT database when running your queries as shown here:
Here is also the T-SQL Statement I tried. You can copy it and try it in your Azure SQL Database:
-- Get sales revenue by company and contact using CTE WITH CustomerSales(CompanyContact, SalesAmount) AS ( SELECT CONCAT(c.CompanyName, CONCAT(' (' + c.FirstName + ' ', c.LastName + ')' ) ), SOH.TotalDue FROM SalesLT.SalesOrderHeader AS SOH JOIN SalesLT.Customer AS c ON SOH.CustomerID = c.CustomerID ) SELECT CompanyContact, SUM(SalesAmount) AS Revenue FROM CustomerSales GROUP BY CompanyContact ORDER BY CompanyContact;