How to edit the content type / Mime type of a windows azure blob content?


I just wrote a follow up blog post for my post “Hosting a static website in Azure blobs”. Here is the URL: Hosting a static Website in Azure Blobs – Setting content type [ Mime Type ] of the blob content.

Hosting a static website in Windows Azure blobs


In this blog post, i discuss an option which is to host a static website to windows Azure blobs. It is a scalable and cost effective hosting environment to host static websites/ web content. To know more please read about it at my SolidQ blog:

 Hosting a Static website in windows azure blobs

Met revered APJ Abdul Kalam (Ex President, India) at an event organized by Times Foundation


It was indeed an honor and privilege to be part of an event that had his excellency Dr APJ Abdul Kalam as the chief Guest. I also got a chance to meet Bhaskar Pramanik, MD Microsoft India and Pratima Amonkar, Director Academia at Microsoft India. I also met some of the dynamic fellow Microsoft student Partners and some of the YUVAites (YUVA Unstoppable is a NGO that has been doing wonderful job across India) at the event. It was a great experience.

One of the best moment of the event was when Mr Bhaskar Pramanik, MD, Microsoft India acknowledged the work of spreading literacy that we Microsoft student Partner’s do! It really meant a lot to each and every one of us. Also, Microsoft was awarded because of it’s involvement in spreading Digital Literacy in India. Kudos! In words of Mr Bhaskar Pramanik – “We do not do it for the sake of CSR – we do it because we really should”

Thanks to Times Foundation and Yuva Unstoppable for Organizing such a wonderful event. And Thanks to Microsoft Student Partners program for providing a Platform wherein students can spread digital literacy by being a part of ‘Yuva – Microsoft Digital literacy campaign’!

Few clicks:

APJ Abdul Kalam

Invitation Card.

Key Note by APJ Abdul kalam

Key note by APJ Abdul Kalam Sir

Bhaskar Pramanik (Microsoft Chairman) and Rahul Kansal (Times Brand Head)

APJ Abdul Kalam Sir, Extreme right: Bhaskar Pramanik (Microsoft Chairman)


Let's play a game called "try finding Paras in the picture"


Group Photo Time!


Related post:

Get an Azure account without submitting credit card details (Valid for 30 days) – PROMO EXPIRED!


[Update June 2012: You also have an option to sign up for Azure Free trial : – Though it requires credit card but you have the option to set the “spending limit” and so you would not be charged above]

Update June 2012:


I know many readers who benefited from this promo code, but lately few people have emailed me that it’s not working for them.

Would you like to try Windows azure for free? and you do not wish to enter credit card details either. Well, you may say – “you’re kidding, aren’t you?”. But it turns out I am not kidding. There exists a promotional offer called “Windows Azure pass” which let’s you access Azure for 30 days + it does not ask for your “ultra-secret” credit card information!!

But there is a minor issue with the Azure pass – You need a promo code. [ Don’t curse me yet – keep reading, I have still few things to say]. You may ask – “where on earth am I suppose to get an Azure pass promo code?”. Well, among few places where you could get the promo code – I am glad that my blog is one of them. You could use the promo code: parasdoshi and happily access the Azure for 30 days – no questions asked!!

You are free to spread word about it! you can use the following banner or just pass the promo code!

Azure Pass

What do get by subscribing to windows Azure pass? The Windows Azure platform 30 day pass includes the following resources

Windows Azure

  • 3 Small Compute Instances
  • 3 GB of Storage
  • 250,000 Storage Transactions

SQL Azure

  • Two 1 GB Web Edition Database


  • 100,000 Access Control Transactions
  • 2 Bus Service Connections

Data Transfers

  • 3 GB In
  • 3 GB Out

[ Source: ]

Just note:

1. You need a windows live ID

2. At the end of 30 days, your application/data will be erased. Please back up the application and data to another Azure account. Don’t worry about marking your calendar – you should receive alert emails before that happens. I got them

3. you will need to wait for 2-3 business days for your Azure account to be activated. You will get an email when the account is ready to accessed!

4. For a live ID – you will be able to redeem the offer only once. After your 30 days trials – if you want to continue playing with Azure. please go to :

Now,  the remaining part of the blog post is the step by step guide to access Azure using windows Azure 30 day pass that let’s you access Azure without entering your credit card details.

1. Go to

2. a. choose your country

b. Enter promo code: ParasDoshi (it is not case sensitive)


3. Click submit and you will see this page:


Click on ‘sign up’ if you do not have an LIVE ID.

If you already have a LIVE ID then please click on ‘sign in’ shown in the right side of the page.

4. Now, filling in the correct details – you will see this page:


5. click on accept (after reading the document!) and you will see this:


Voila! you have successfully registered for Azure pass!! Now, get ready to kick the tyres of Azure as soon as i t arrives!

— The step by step guide ends —

Just would like to share a resources that will keep you occupied (for as long as you wish to! )

Windows Azure training Kit

Do post your feedback/comments. Thank you.

want to learn SQL Azure – here is an “Introduction to SQL Azure” tutorial (FREE!)


On Microsoft learning, clinic 10322 named "Introduction to SQL Azure" is an excellent course that is available (freely) to anyone who wish to get started with SQL Azure. It will just take couple of hours to acquire basic understanding of SQL Azure! 



As a cherry on the cake – you will be able to download a certificate after successful completion of course:




Do not wish to take a course? You just wished you could sit back, relax and watch a video. Don’t worry – Here’s the link:

SolidQ Journal Article : “Migrating Data into Microsoft’s Data Platform – SQL Azure”


The article titled “Migrating Data into Microsoft’s Data platform – SQL Azure” discusses contemporary tools that are available to migrate SQL server data into Microsoft’s cloud based database i.e SQL Azure. The article is then broadly classified into 1. Schema Migration 2. Data Migration

Following are the tools discussed for Schema Migration:

1. Generate and Publish script wizard (SQL server Management studio)

2. DAC project (Visual studio 2010 Ultimate edition)

Following are the tools discussed (along with best practices) for Data Migration:

1. BCP


Also, Migration process using SQL Azure Migration Wizard is also discussed at the end of the article.


You can read the article here:

Automating SQL Azure backup to On premise Disks using a SQL Azure management cmdlet


[Update: When i wrote this post, the SQL Azure import and Export CTP was not available. But now it is – and it would let you export a SQL Azure database on local disks too. And since it is command driven, you’ll be able to automate the process on a local server]

In this article, I am going to discuss automating SQL Azure backup to an on premise location using a SQL Azure management cmdlet. Alternatively, you can also schedule a backup that backs up your SQL Azure data to Azure storage. But before we discuss how to go about it – couple of disclosures 1. Powershell cmdlet is to be executed from on premise machine as SQL Azure does not natively support Powershell but you can always choose SQL Azure as your target for your Cmdlet running locally 2. I am going to use a third party Azure management cmdlet from Cerebrata. You can download it from


A complete setup guide is available at

Now, once you are done with installation and post installation steps – you will be able to see the list of cmdlet’s by running

Get-Command –PSSnapin AzureManagementCmdletsSnapIn


For automating the SQL Azure backup we are interested in the cmdlet named “Backup-Database” that let’s you back up SQL Azure to a local disk using bcp.exe utility. It also allows you to back up the database to blob storage. But remember the SQL Azure data transfer rates apply

Now, to backup a SQL Azure database to local disks run:

Backup-Database -Name “database1” -DownloadLocation “D:temp” -Server “mydatabaseserver” -UserName “username” -Password “password” –Verbose


Backup-Database s the name of the cmdlet

-Name is the name of the database to be backed up

-DownloadLocation is the local location where the data will be backed up

-Server is the name of the server in which the database to be backed up is located

-Username is the username to login to the specified SQL Azure server

-Password is the password corresponding to the specified username used to login to the specified SQL Azure server

-Verbose is the parameter that will display detailed information about the operation performed by the cmdlet

After the back up is done, you will receive following message:


Now, if you wish to backup only specific table that you could do that by run the command:

Backup-Database -Name “database1” -DownloadLocation “D:temp” -Server “mydatabaseserver” -UserName “username” -Password “password”TablesToInclude “<name1>,<name..n>” –Verbose

Now, one can schedule a PowerShell command – do that to automate your back up process!

If you wish to backup the database to blobs instead of local files. please read:

Just note that:

For now, the restore database through the Management CmdLet is not available – But basically the bigger picture of this post is to point out that – using Powershell CmdLet’s we will be able to schedule SQL Azure tasks! and that is definitely a good news for an IT pro.


Related Posts:

Quick List of “Databases in the cloud”


1. Microsoft’s SQL Azure

2. Amazon’s RDS and DynamoDB


4. Intuit’s QuickBase


6. Xeround

7. ZeusDB [Thank you Antonio Burgess for mentioning it in comment thread]

8. Google App Engine Data Store

I’ll keep on updating this list as i stumble upon new databases in the cloud.

Also if you know Cloud DB’s that are not in the list, drop me the name in the comment and i’ll include it with due credit.

Update March 23 2012: Added DynamoDB

Paras Doshi

programmatically verifying that the underlying database is SQL Azure


There are two ways to programmatically verify that the underlying database is SQL Azure

1. By running the TSQL command: select @@version
if the underlying database is SQL Azure, the query will return something like:

“Microsoft SQL Azure (RTM) – 10.25.9640.0 Apr 2 2011 18:10:33 Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation”

The returned value clearly states that the database is SQL Azure

2. By running the TSQL command: SELECT SERVERPROPERTY('EngineEdition')
if the underlying database is SQL Azure, the query will return value 5

Output of SELECT SERVERPROPERTY('EngineEdition') as value

To know more about serverproperty. go here

Extending SQL Azure with Azure worker roles << Guest Post on Pinal sir’s blog


My guest post on “Extending SQL Azure with Azure worker role” got published on Pinal sir’s blog. In the article, I discuss three lightweight solutions that augment the contemporary capability of SQL Azure. They are:

1. Automating SQL Azure database backup process

2. Lightweight SQL server agent for SQL Azure

3. Synchronization of databases using SYNC Framework.

To read the article, please visit:

Thank you Pinal sir for this wonderful opportunity.