Azure PASS VC session on 24th Sep 2012 Monday: Getting Started with Windows Azure


Join the Azure PASS VC’s session on “Getting Started with Windows Azure” on:

Date: 24th Sep (Monday)

Time: 11 AM Eastern Time; 8 AM Pacific; 8:30 PM India Time; You can download the event calendar from here

Speaker: Brian Prince, Principal Cloud Evangelist Microsoft

Session Abstract: Windows Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform for quickly building and running scalable applications. We will cover just what the cloud is, as an industry, and what Microsoft is offering. We will see into the data-centers, how they work, and the a high level view of all the components of the platform.

More Details:

components of windows azure

Upload a file to windows azure blob via “data transfer” tool


In earlier blog post, we talked about how to upload excel file to SQL Azure via the Data transfer tool found in SQL Azure labs. In this blog post, we will see how to upload an excel file to windows azure blob via this tool codenamed Data Transfer. So let’s get started.

1. Go to and select the second option – Windows Azure Blob:


2. Provide the credentials of your storage account (I checked the URL, it has https) – And provide account name in the , container name and if the container of that name does not exist than it would be created, and the key which you can find from the storage accounts in Azure management portal. click on next.


3. now point the tool to the file you wish to upload and click on Import.


4. So that’s it Done! you will find the files you uploaded on My Data > Blobs Tab.


And you can view the file through My Data tab. (excel file will be downloaded and viewed via excel on your machine)


And during my experiments, I also tried uploading a .txt and .xml files. It works too!



Overall, Data Transfer makes our life easier by providing a web interface to upload data to SQL Azure and Windows Azure blobs.

SQL Azure VS Azure Table storage


SQL Azure vs Azure table storage

*SQL Azure Federations is coming soon!

SQL Azure VS Azure Tables is discussed best if the scenario is known! Though both of them “sound” similar – they are different in lot of aspects. The above info graphic is meant to delineate the difference between SQL Azure and Azure Table.

SQL Azure is a RDBMS solution whereas Azure Table is more of a NoSQL solution

SQL Azure has current limitation on Size i.e. 50 GB. Azure Table’s current limitation is secondary index is not supported.

SQL Azure supports SQL Azure reporting, SQL Azure Data sync, SQL Azure Federations (coming soon) out of the box. Also since it is a RDBMS – anyone familiar with SQL server will find the skills are very easily transferred. Also SQL Azure is at better at moving data to and fro from SQL server.

Apparently, Azure table is better at cost and scalability. But one concern is that data tends to get locked into Azure platform. By this I mean, if you use Azure Tables as your backend data store for your app and then someday you decide to move to different cloud platform then get ready for some work. So for more flexibility – opt for SQL Azure.

That’s it. It was just an introduction to “SQL Azure VS Azure Table storage”.

can you please take a moment and drop your comments/feedback – Thanks!

Update [2 jan 2012]

read for a case study

SQL Azure Federations is released and Max Size of a SQL Azure DB is now 150 GB.


Related articles:

Hosting a Static Website in Windows Azure Blobs << Cost effective and scalable solution to host static websites!


Part 1:

Hosting a static website in Windows Azure blobs

Part 2:

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

Part 3:

Blogged a Follow up post on the series ‘Hosting a static website in windows Azure blobs’


Alternatively, Azure blobs can be used to store contents too. For eg. a video can be stored in blobs and since a URI is provided for a blob content, a website hosted somewhere else (say a website hosted in web role) can access the video through the URI.

Also, I found this blog post by John Viele where he shows he hosted “static” aspx web pages in Azure Blog Storage:

Blogged a Follow up post on the series ‘Hosting a static website in windows Azure blobs’


In the part 1 of the series, I introduced an option to Host a static website in Azure blobs. In part 2. I discussed how to set the content type of the Azure blob contents so that it is rendered properly across all browsers. Now, In this post, I am going to address following considerations:

1. Mapping our unfriendly azure storage domain name to a friendly domain name like

2. Logging Blob Request in other words logging the site visitors. 

3. handling Directory structure of the website (applicable for huge static websites – no kidding – such sites do exist)

Read more about it at my SolidQ blog: Hosting a static website in Azure blobs–Addressing some of the considerations

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