What's New in SQL Data Sync

What's New in SQL Data Sync

Updated: July 23, 2015


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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 Azure and SQL Database usage.

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

You access SQL Data Sync (Preview) via the SYNC tab under SQL Database at the Microsoft 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.

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.

The May 2015 version of the SQL Data Sync (Preview) client agent is now available on the Download Center. The update includes:

  • Support for synchronizing tables that have column collations:

    • If the selected sync schema tables are not already in your hub or member databases, upon deploying the sync group, the service will auto create the corresponding tables and columns with the same collation settings as the selected in the empty database(s).

    • If the tables to-be-synced are already created in both of your hub and member databases, SQL Data Sync requires the primary key columns are set with the same collation between hub/member databases to successfully deploy the sync group. No collation restriction on the non-primary key columns.

  • Improvements to data sync performance and resilience.

  • Enhancements to logging.

Please upgrade your existing SQL Data Sync (Preview) client agent as described in How to Upgrade a Client Agent. Your existing agent will continue to work before it expires in 90 days.

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

    Improved synchronization performance across data centers.

  • Improved overall performance on internal operations.

  • Added the ability to create multiple Sync Servers under a single Microsoft 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.

  • Improved performance when provisioning a sync group.

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

  • Support for spatial data types.
    The Geometry and Geography data types are now supported, though they cannot be used to filter rows when filtering rows to synchronize.
    For a list of supported data types, see SQL Database Data Types supported by SQL Data Sync.

  • Ability to cancel a synchronization task.

  • Ability to update a deployed sync group.
    You can now dynamically update a sync group.

  • 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.

  • 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 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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • A new, task-oriented UI with integrated help, includes tutorials that walk you through creating and deploying a new 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

See Also

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