SQL Azure Service Update 4 Includes Support for Database Copy Feature

SQL Azure Service Update 4 includes support for copying databases. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff951624.aspx Database admins can now do Same-Server copies and Cross-Server copies of SQL Azure databases. The syntax is pretty simple:

CREATE DATABASE destination_database_name
AS COPY OF [source_server_name.]source_database_name

jQuery Mobile

jQuery Mobile is now under development until late 2010. The purpose is to help developers make interactive sites that are touch-optimized for mobile phones. What jQuery did for desktop web applications jQuery Mobile intends to do for mobile web applications on the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and other smart phones. It provides touch-optimized layouts and UI widgets.

Windows Azure Service Management API Tool (Command-line)

The Windows Azure Service Management API Tool is a free command-line program that lets you manage deployments and services using the Windows Azure Service Management API. The download comes with an application EXE and a config file. The Usage.txt file included in the downloaded ZIP will tell you which settings you need to edit in the config file for the EXE to work. The tool does require you to use a certificate and the thumbprint needs to be put in the config file.

You can create a self-signed certificate that you then upload to Windows Azure in the API Certificates section of the Windows Azure Developer Portal.

Windows Azure Management Tool (MMC)

The Windows Azure Management Tool is available for download for free from MSDN. The screencast will introduce you to the tool. The tool gives you the ability to manage:

  • Hosted services in Windows Azure
  • Storage services
  • Configure instrumentation for Windows Azure applications
  • Certificates
  • Blob storage
  • Queues
  • Tables
  • Powershell back-end

Text-to-Movie with Xtranormal

The people over at Xtranormal.com have created something real special, a text-to-movie editor that you can use to create movies from your home computer with 3D characters and all you have to do is type! See an example with this banksters and Federal Reserve movie where the Xtranormal movie was published to YouTube.

Windows Azure Might Cost Less for Your Needs Than You Think

Have you been looking at the price of Windows Azure Compute instances (like the web roles) and feeling like it’s priced higher than GoDaddy or some of the other services you are use to as a small business? The good news is that if you have a basic website with static content then you do not need a Windows Azure Compute instance to host your website on Windows Azure. You can simple use a Windows Azure Storage blob container. If you are not wanting to take advantage of the rich features of ASP.NET then you might benefit from making basic HTML pages and uploading them directly to a public container in a Windows Azure Storage Account in a blob container. I use Cerebrata’s Cloud Storage Studio to manage my Windows Azure Storage accounts. You can upload any file type including HTML web pages, JavaScript, video, images and other content. The files you upload are then accessible from a URL like https://spiveyworks.blob.core.windows.net/images/inspirework.png.

I wanted to have a better URL so I purchased a custom domain name and used the domain control panel to create a CNAME record that I linked to my Windows Azure blob URL.

Microsoft’s Windows Azure pricing website lists all of the current offers available. Using a Windows Azure Storage account is priced based on consumption, so the more your website is viewed the more you pay, but you also benefit by paying very little if your website is viewed mildly.