Windows Azure SQL Database and ArcGIS
Microsoft Windows Azure SQL Database is a cloud-based database service.
To use ArcGIS with Windows Azure SQL Database, install the SQL Server Native Client on the ArcGIS client machine and make a database connection from the ArcGIS client.
If you are familiar with using ArcGIS with SQL Server, you will find that the majority of the time, how you work with a Windows Azure SQL Database from ArcGIS will be identical to how you work with an on-premises SQL Server database. Exceptions include the following:
- You cannot create or enable a geodatabase in a Windows Azure SQL Database.
- You must type the database name In the Database Connection dialog box; you cannot choose the database from a drop-down list, and you cannot leave the Database text box blank.
- When loading large amounts of data to a feature class (several million records or more), you should estimate the spatial (x,y) extent of the data and create an appropriate spatial index on the feature class before loading the data. The operation of creating a spatial index on a feature class containing millions of records could be terminated if Windows Azure SQL Database determines that the operation is consuming too many server resources. This can leave your feature class with no spatial index. Therefore, it is recommended that you create an appropriate spatial index first, then load data. See the following section on Windows Azure SQL Database behavior outside ArcGIS.
There are some tasks separate from ArcGIS that you perform directly in the database management system. If you are familiar with using SQL Server, there are some differences you should be aware of if you intend to use Windows Azure SQL Database databases instead. See Microsoft's documentation for information on these differences. Additionally, since Windows Azure SQL Database is a multitenant database service, connections can be closed under specific circumstances to free up the resource for other users. See Windows Azure SQL Database Connection Management on the Microsoft TechNet Wiki for a list of circumstances that could cause a connection to be closed and associated error messages.