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New in SQL Data Sync (Preview)

Updated: February 13, 2014

[This topic is pre-release documentation and is subject to change in future releases. Blank topics are included as placeholders.]

 

SQL Azure Data Sync Icon

This topic covers the progression of capabilities and improvements added to SQL Data Sync (Preview).

Until further notice, the newer SQL Data Sync (Preview) and the Data Sync Service (Preview) are free. The only charges are for Windows Azure and SQL Database usage.

The Windows Azure SQL Data Sync plug-in on the Windows Azure Silverlight portal has been decommissioned. Going forward, use the Windows Azure Management portal, for Windows Azure SQL Data Sync.

You access SQL Data Sync (Preview) via the SYNC tab under SQL Database at the Windows Azure Management portal. The SYNC tab is only available when you have one or more sync groups. See the topic How To: Create a Sync Group (SDS) for guidance on creating and modifying a sync group from this portal.

To upgrade to the current version and get the latest features see the topic How to Upgrade a Client Agent.

See the Navigation section below for links to topics you should read before you start and guidance on creating and modifying sync groups.

What’s New in SQL Data Sync (Preview)?

Thank you for trying out SQL Data Sync (Preview) and sending suggestions and feedback. We continue to make improvements to SQL Data Sync (Preview) based upon your feedback.

December 2012 – Service Update

  • Released SQL Data Sync (Preview) on the Windows Azure portal.

    Improved synchronization performance across data centers.

  • Improved overall performance on internal operations.

October 2012 – Service Update

  • Added the ability to create multiple Sync Servers under a single Windows Azure subscription.

    Performance is improved if your SQL Data Sync (Preview) server and sync group hub is located in the same region (data center). Provision a SQL Data Sync (Preview) server in each data center that will host a sync group hub. To provision a Sync Server, see step 6.

August 2012 – Service Update

  • Improved performance when provisioning a sync group.

  • Improved sync performance when synchronizing on-premises SQL Server databases to SQL databases.

June 2012 – Service Update

April 2012 – Service Update

  • Ability to update a deployed sync group.
    You can now dynamically update a sync group. See the topic Edit a Sync Group for details.

  • Added information in the portal that helps you more easily manage your sync groups.

    • The client agent version is shown with:

      • A recommendation to upgrade if your client agent is not the latest version.

      • A warning if support for your agent version expires soon.

      • An error if your agent version is no longer supported.

    • A warning for sync groups that are out-of-date due to changes failing to apply for 60 or more days.

  • Fixed issues that affected ORM (Object Relational Model) frameworks such as Entity Framework and NHibernate working with SQL Data Sync (Preview).

  • Improved error and status messages.

January 2012 - Major Service Update

  • Localized in ten major world languages.

    • Chinese (simplified)

    • Chinese (traditional)

    • French

    • German

    • Italian

    • Japanese

    • Korean

    • Portuguese (Brazil)

    • Russian

    • Spanish

  • Expanded location options.
    Users can create Data Sync servers in any of the Windows Azure data centers.
    It is recommended that you locate your sync server and databases as close as possible to where your users are. SQL Data Sync (Preview) availability in all Azure data centers makes it easy to follow that best practice.

  • A new client agent with fixes and security enhancements is available.
    The new client agent is not required for you to continue to use the SQL Data Sync (Preview) Preview, though we recommend upgrading.
    You can download the new client agent from the January 2012 download center.

  • Synchronization progress and troubleshooting enhancements.

    • Logs progress of a sync once every 15 minutes (number of rows and total time) once the change application on the destination database starts.

    • More informative error messages to help with trouble shooting.

  • Additional improvements enhancing the usability of the service

December 2011 – Minor Service Update

This service update provides better support of narrow tables with many rows.

November 2011 – Minor Service Update

  • Logins with either username@server or just username are accepted.

  • Column names with spaces are now supported.

  • Columns with a NewSequentialID constraint are converted to NewID for SQL Databases in the sync group.

  • Non-administrator service logon credentials are now accepted during the client agent installation.

  • The November 2011 version of the SQL Data Sync (Preview) client agent is now available at the Download Center.
    Minor improvements in the new SQL Data Sync (Preview) agent. If you already have a Preview version of the SQL Data Sync (Preview) client agent, it will continue to work.

October 2011 – Release of Public Preview

  • The Preview client agent is not backwardly compatible with CTP2, therefore you must upgrade from your CTP2 SQL Data Sync (Preview) agent and sync groups. See the topic How to Upgrade a Client Agent.

  • SQL Data Sync (Preview) is now accessed from the Windows Azure management portal - https://windows.azure.com rather than its own portal.

  • A new, task-oriented UI with integrated help, includes tutorials that walk you through creating and deploying a new sync group. See the topic Create a Sync Group.

  • The ability for you to set the synchronization direction for each database as you add it to the sync group, and thus minimize charges for data movement. Synchronization directions are: bi-directional, from the hub and to the hub. See step 6 of the topic Add a SQL Member Database and step 4 of Add a SQL Server Member Database.

  • More specific dataset definitions than before.

    • Select the particular databases you want to synchronize.

    • Select specific tables to synchronize.

    • Select specific columns within each table to synchronize.

    • Define row filters so that only the rows that meet the filter requirements are synchronized.

    For more information see Select the Tables, Columns, and Rows to Synchronize.

  • The ability for you to set the conflict resolution policy for the sync group.

    • Hub Wins
      In each synchronization job the first change written to the hub is the change that is kept. Changes to the row in subsequently polled databases are discarded.

    • Client Wins
      In each synchronization job every row with a change is written to the hub overwriting prior changes to the row. Thus the last change is kept and all prior changes are discarded.

    For more information, see Set Conflict Resolution Policy.

Navigation

SQL Data Sync (Preview) is a feature of SQL Database. From the Windows Azure Management portal you can perform all tasks necessary to create, deploy, and modify a sync group.

 

Before you start

Before you begin to design and implement your synchronizations, you should be familiar with these topics.

How to create a sync group

There are six steps to creating a sync group from the Windows Azure Management portal. Details on each step can be found by following these links.

  1. Sign in to the Windows Azure SQL Database Management portal
    SQL Data Sync (Preview) is found as a tab under SQL Database only after you create a sync group.

  2. Install a SQL Data Sync (Preview) Client Agent

  3. Register a SQL Server Database with a Client Agent

  4. Create your Sync Group (SDS)

  5. Define your sync data (SDS)

  6. Configure your sync group (SDS)

 

How to modify a sync group

You can modify a sync group’s schema by adding/removing tables or columns in the sync group; or by altering a column’s width or data type. Details can be found by following the links.

See Also

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