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John Paul Cook

SQL Azure free for a very limited time

Microsoft is giving away free Windows Azure accounts to people in the United States for a very limited time. No credit card is required. The first 500 people who sign up each month through October 2010 get a free Windows Azure account. The free accounts expire at the of the month regardless of what day you opened your account.

You don’t need to spend any money. What a deal! Don’t let the opportunity go waste, go to right now to request your free account. After making your request, if you don’t have SQL Server 2008 R2 Management Studio installed, go here to download and install the free SQL Server 2008 R2 Management Studio Express. You need a SQL Server 2008 R2 version of Management Studio to access your SQL Azure database. I want sqlblog readers to use up all of the remaining Windows Azure accounts!

After you receive your credentials (a Hotmail account) and have SQL Server 2008 R2 Management Studio installed, go to to sign in.


After signing in, you’ll see this page:


Click on SQL Azure. Accept the Terms of Use. If you don’t see the Terms of Use, click the Enabled link.

The next step is to create your SQL Azure login. You use SQL Server authentication to login to SQL Azure.


You’ll be taken to the following page where you need to click the Firewall Settings tab.


Click the Add Rule button to add your machine’s IP address to the list of allowed IP addresses.



Once your Firewall Rule is in effect, you can login to SQL Azure using Management Studio:


It’s really this simple to get started.

The SQL Azure AdventureWorks database is found here.

Red Gate SQL Compare and SQL Data Compare versions that work with SQL Azure may be obtained by filling out this survey.

As I always do, the IP addresses, server names, and credentials in this post are fake.

Published Monday, September 13, 2010 11:16 PM by John Paul Cook

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About John Paul Cook

John Paul Cook is a Technology Solutions Professional for Microsoft's data platform and works out of Microsoft's Houston office. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. He is experienced in Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle database application design, development, and implementation. He has spoken at many conferences including Microsoft TechEd and the SQL PASS Summit. He has worked in oil and gas, financial, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. John is also a Registered Nurse who graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Master of Science in Nursing Informatics and is an active member of the Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society. He volunteers as a nurse at clinics that treat low income patients. Contributing author to SQL Server MVP Deep Dives and SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2. Opinions expressed in John's blog are strictly his own and do not represent Microsoft in any way.

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