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Jamie Thomson

This is the blog of Jamie Thomson, a data mangler in London working for Dunnhumby

TwitterCache now hosted on SQL Azure

2012-06-07 Update: All good things must come to an end - I have now shutdown this server. I hope it was useful to some of you in the two and a half years that it has been available. 

Earlier today Brent Ozar blogged about how he had been archiving tweets from various people that he follows into a SQL Server database.


He made a backup of that database available for download on his blog so that others could download it and have a play of their own. I thought that rather than have all those people that wanted to party on the data download and restore the database for themselves it might be fun (and prudent) to stick it somewhere where anyone could get it so (with Brent’s permission) I’ve hosted the database up on SQL Azure.

Here are the credentials that you’ll need if you want to connect:

server name
username ro
password r3@d0nly
database name brentotweets

You can connect using SQL Server Management Studio although if you’re not using the November 2009 community technology preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2008 R2 there are some hoops you need to jump through in order to do that. First thing to know is that you can’t connect the Object Explorer, only a query window. So, after hitting the “New Query” button here’s what you need to do:

Firstly, enter the details as shown in this screenshot:


and then hit “Options”. On the options screen you need to enter the name of the database that you need to connect to which, as I mentioned above, is [brentotweets]:


Then hit “Connect”. You’ll probably get the following error about not being able to get to sys.configurations. Don’t worry about it, you can safely click OK and ignore it:


Once you’re in you can hit the database just like you would any other SQL Server database:


SQL Azure requires that you specify a range of IPs that can connect to the server and I’ve made it as wide as possible so I’m assuming it should be OK:


Have fun! Note that this won’t be available forever because at some point I’m going to have to start paying for it, you’ll be good for the next few weeks though.




P.S. For those that are interested I pumped all the data up there using SSIS.


It took 41m 41s over my home broadband line from a Virtual PC guest. Bear in mind that I’m in London and the server is I believe somewhere in Texas, US. According to I’m getting 4.67Mbps up and 0.57Mbps down:







(Note to self: Get new ISP. Or move house!]

Published Thursday, December 3, 2009 11:41 PM by jamiet

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Brent Ozar said:

Sweet!  Nice job, man!

December 3, 2009 5:42 PM said:

Nice article. I'll be reading your stuff as I'm learning SSIS at the moment myself.

December 3, 2009 5:53 PM

mjswart said:

Want to know something interesting/ironic? I searched the twittercache for tweets like "%EAV%".

I read the following entry:

"Not sure I like the idea of tracking Twitter conversations. Seems too close to eavesdropping / stalking."

December 4, 2009 11:48 AM

JasonM80 said:

Very nice. This is a great use-case for SQL Azure, but hopefully you've made the data read-only.

If you get a large response, this will really showcase the scalability that you get with SQL Azure.

(I am contracted by M80, working with Microsoft to promote Windows Azure)

December 6, 2009 11:45 PM

Matt Masson said:

Keep in mind that loading with SSIS would also be a lot faster if you're using the 2008 R2 CTP, since it has a new Bulk Loading option in the ADO.NET Destination.

December 11, 2009 11:58 AM

SSIS Junkie said:

On 31st January 2010 Windows Azure and SQL Azure will transition to becoming services that you have to

January 23, 2010 5:26 AM

SSIS Junkie said:

The SQL Azure team have just announced in their blog post CTP1 of Microsoft® Project Code-Named “Houston”

July 21, 2010 10:29 AM

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