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Install a SQL Data Sync Client Agent

Updated: August 25, 2015

SQL Data Sync (Preview) synchronization groups that include one or more on-premises SQL Server databases need a client agent to manage communications between SQL Data Sync (Preview) and SQL Server databases without compromising your firewall. You do not need an agent for SQL Database (formerly SQL Azure) instances that are included in the sync group and should not attempt to register any SQL Database instances with an agent.


SQL Azure Data Sync Icon

Once you are signed in to the Azure Management portal, there are five steps remaining to create a sync group. This topic walks you through the first of the five steps – installing a client agent.

If you already have a client agent installed, see the topic section A. Determine your client agent version to determine whether or not you need to upgrade to a newer version. The current client agent version is 4.2.5658.

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.

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You need to install a client agent for each Data Sync server that hosts a sync group which includes one or more SQL Server databases. A client agent can connect to multiple SQL Server instances. For specific limitations see the topic Known SQL Data Sync Limits.

You can add a SQL Server database that is on a different computer than the client agent. However, the agent must be able to connect to the SQL Server instance.

Before you install the client agent make sure the following are installed in the order listed below.

  1. .NET Framework 4.5

    Download the .NET Framework 4.5.

  2. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 System CLR Types (x86)

    You can download these at http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26728.

  3. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Shared Management Objects (x86)

    You can download these at http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26728.

An client agent that belongs to one subscription is not visible to other subscriptions.

Administrators and non-Administrators alike are able to install the client agent. However, only an Administrator can repair the client agent. If you perform the repair as a non-Administrator, the UI will become unresponsive.

You need a client agent if any of the databases in your sync group are SQL Server databases. You do not need an agent if all the databases in the sync group are Azure SQL Database instances.

  1. Navigate your browser to the Azure management portal - https://manage.windowsazure.com.

  2. After the services finish loading, click SQL Databases.

  3. At the bottom of the page, click Add Sync then New Sync Agent.

  4. Click Download. (Figure 4.1)

  5. On the download page, locate and click the .msi file.

  6. Click Run when asked whether to run or save the file.

  7. At the Welcome to the Microsoft SQL Data Sync Preview Setup Wizard, click Next.

  8. Carefully read the License Agreement and click the I agree radio button if you agree with it. (Figure 1:1)

  9. Click Next. (Figure 1:2)

    License agreement
    Figure 1: License Agreement

  10. Enter your user name (Figure 2:1) then your password. (Figure 2:2)

    • Be sure that this Windows Service account has permissions to connect to all the on-premises databases you want to register with the agent.

    • Be sure that the service account has network access through network proxy and firewall.

    • If you have a network proxy ensure that the service account can connect to SQL Data Sync (Preview) service through the proxy.

    To later change to a different service account you must uninstall the current client agent than install a new client agent under the new service account.

  11. Click Next. (Figure 2:3)

    Enter account credentials
    Figure 2: Enter credentials

    If you specify the run-as account as .\[accountName], the installation fails.

    If you specify the run-as account as [computerName]\[accountName] the installation succeeds.

  12. Confirm or set the path where you want the agent installed.

    The default is %SYSTEMDRIVE%%PROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft SQL Data Sync\ on 32-bit computers and %SYSTEMDRIVE%%PROGRAMFILES(X86)%\Microsoft SQL Data Sync\ on 64-bit computers. (Figure 3:1)

    If you prefer you can Browse your local drives to set a path different from the default. (Figure 3:2)

    securitySecurity Note
    To provide the best security for your SQL Server credentials, install the SQL Data Sync (Preview) client agent under ‘Program Files’ on an x86 computer or ‘Program Files (x86)’ on an x64 computer.

    If you have any question as to whether a drive has sufficient room click Disk cost. (Figure 3:3)

    Write down the installation path for later use.

  13. Click Next. (Figure 3:4)

    Agent installation folder
    Figure 3 - Agent installation path

  14. When the installation is complete click Close.

  15. Return to the web portal.

  16. Give the agent a unique and meaningful name. (Figure 4:2)

    The agent name must be unique across all your subscriptions.

  17. From the dropdown, select the region (data center) where the agent is located. (Figure 4.3)

    From the dropdown, select the Azure subscription for this agent. (Figure 4.4)

  18. Click the check symbol. (Figure 4.5) This creates the agent and returns you to the Azure management portal.

    Install a new agent
    Figure 4: Install a new Agent

  19. From the list of agents and sync groups in the management portal, select the newly created agent’s row. Do not click the agent’s name.

  20. At the bottom of the page, click Manage Key.

  21. Follow the directions on the Manage access key dialog.

    1. To create a key, click Generate. (Figure 5.1)

    2. After the key is created, click the clipboard symbol to copy the key to your clipboard. (Figure 5.2)

    3. To close the dialog, click the check symbol. (Figure 5.3)

      Manage the access key dialog
      Figure 5: Generate agent key


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 create a sync group. This topic walks you through the third step.

How to Modify a Sync Group
You may need to modify a sync group by:

  1. Sign in to the Azure SQL Database Management portal

  2. How To: Install a SQL Data Sync Client Agent (this topic)

  3. Register a SQL Server database with a Client Agent

  4. Create your sync group

  5. Define your data sync

  6. Configure your sync group (SDS)

Other SQL Data Sync (Preview) actions

See Also

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