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John Paul Cook

In The Cloud: The Importance of Being Organized

People often ask me about learning how to use Azure SQL Database as well as many other Azure products. If you want to learn, you’ve got to have an Azure account. Get one for free or use your personal or corporate MSDN account.

Where I see people struggling with Azure is in not being organized. Naming conventions are essential. Think about it. Once you go into production, you need good naming conventions and discipline enforcing them. You need to have good governance of your cloud resources starting with your early forays into learning how to work in the cloud. Regardless of who your cloud provider is, you need to have meaningful, descriptive names.

You’re not just learning about, for example, Azure SQL Database when you create your first database in the cloud. You’re also learning and experimenting with governance. You’re figuring out what naming conventions make things better. When I started learning Azure, I tended to use suffixes to identify Azure resources. That didn’t work well over time. I switched to using prefixes, actually using what is known as Hungarian notation. What’s the best naming convention to use? The one your actually use! The point is that having some naming system is better than having none at all. So, to paraphrase Robert Duvall’s five P rule in The Killer Elite, proper planning prevents poor performance. By the way, the word affix can be used instead of saying “prefix or suffix” because an affix can be either. An affix can also appear in the body of a word, not just at either end.

I tend to use the prefix db for Azure SQL Database, dw for Azure SQL Data Warehouse, rg for Resource Group, srvr for server. The server name is interesting. Azure resources that are exposed as URLs are lower case only. I recommend using mixed casing where possible. It makes your naming conventions easier to comprehend.


Figure 1. Using meaningful names for Azure resources.

One last detail. When you create an Azure SQL Database, your server admin login can’t be something hackers love such as sa or administrator. But you can use essay as your login. Think about it, pronounce it out loud. Seriously though, you should consider making your server admin login something less likely to be found in a dictionary attack.

Published Tuesday, May 16, 2017 2:33 PM by John Paul Cook
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Mr. Fox SQL (Rolf Tesmer) said:

Nice summary - there's also a pretty good reference in the Azure Documents describing naming conventions, limitations and examples you can also use when you build your own set of conventions...

May 21, 2017 8:16 AM

John Paul Cook said:

Thanks for the link. It's a good reference.

May 21, 2017 10:02 AM
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About John Paul Cook

John Paul Cook is a database and Azure specialist in Houston. He previously worked as a Data Platform Solution Architect in Microsoft's Houston office. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a SQL Server MVP. He is experienced in 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 recently completed the education to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Contributing author to SQL Server MVP Deep Dives and SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2. Connect on LinkedIn

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