Azure SQL Server V12 Preview

Recently I’ve been utilizing the new V12 Azure SQL Server preview for Resgrid. So far the performance is good and for a preview it’s been pretty smooth, compared to other Azure SQL Preview’s I’ve done. The reason for moving to the V12 Preview was because of an issue I had migrating to an S2 database, instead of S2 I moved straight to S3 as it’s preview price point was the same.

sql-azureBut it hasn’t been all sunshine. unicorns and rainbows. Overall the experience for a preview server has been good there wasn’t any listed issues that would help someone make an informed decision.

The biggest area I’ve run into issues has been with backing up and restoring from the V12 Preview server. Normal operations that can fail in strange ways and cause you to loose some time trying to figure them out.

Import/Export Data Tier Application Is Broken (DACPAC’s)

Ever since moving to SQL Azure I’ve utilized the DACPAC’s (Data Tier Application Import/Export) to backup and restore the SQL database for local testing and off-cloud recovery With the V12 SQL Preview this operation doesn’t work, or only works in some cases. I’ve tried it with Developer editions of SQL Server 2012 and 2014 without luck.

The error importing the data tier application was:

“The specified schema name “sys” either does not exist or your do not have permission to use it.”

Importing the database from a non v12 preview server and it works fine. Sys does exist and being an sa I do have rights to use it.

Exporting/Restore in Azure Doesn’t work

It’s not just local DACPAC’s that don’t work. Utilizing exporting and new database creation utilizing a dacpac in blob storage doesn’t work either. This was the primary way I would create the QA\Test\Staging database for testing. I’ve tried this against V12 and non-V12 servers and get the same issue.

It’s possible that the server I upgraded to the V12 preview is having issues. But the copy database between 2 V12 server’s works well. This is how I’ve been getting around the DACPAC issues.

Utilize Azure DB Copy to another v12 Server

Currently the way I’m working around the above issues is to copy the database function from within Azure. I’ve upgraded the QA/Test server to V12 Preview and utilized the built in SQL Database Copy to go from production to test. The benefit here is that the operation is super fast.

I’ve been told you can go from V12 to a non-V12 server, but this didn’t work for me.

Resgrid is a SaaS product utilizing Microsoft Azure, providing logistics, management and communication tools to first responder organizations like volunteer fire departments, career fire departments, EMS, search and rescue, CERT, public safety, disaster relief organizations, etc. It was founded in late 2012 by myself and Jason Jarrett (staxmanade).

UPDATE 3/5/2015: Check out this post on fixing the Import/Export issue.

About: Shawn Jackson

I’ve spent the last 18 years in the world of Information Technology on both the IT and Development sides of the aisle. I’m currently a Software Engineer for Paylocity. In addition to working at Paylocity, I’m also the Founder of Resgrid, a cloud services company dedicated to providing logistics and management solutions to first responder organizations, volunteer and career fire departments, EMS, ambulance services, search and rescue, public safety, HAZMAT and others.