Chapter 2

Using SQL Azure for Business Intelligence

What's in This Chapter?

  • Understanding the basics of SQL Azure
  • Understanding the different types of business intelligence solutions you can build using SharePoint and SQL Azure
  • Building a business intelligence solution using SQL Azure

The goal of this chapter is to introduce you to SQL Azure and describe how you can build a business intelligence (BI) solution using SQL Azure and SharePoint 2010 (or just SharePoint in this chapter). Similar to the other chapters in this book, this chapter first provides some grounding, then walks through a high-level solution architecture, and then describes the practical how-to guidance to create the solution. Because it is possible to build both no-code and code-based solutions using SQL Azure and SharePoint, the solution incorporates both of these into the final solution.

Overview of SQL Azure

SQL Azure is one of the core parts of Windows Azure and represents Microsoft's transactional database offering in the cloud. It is also a highly available cloud-based relational database service that is architected similar to SQL Server. Similar to Windows Azure, SQL Azure represents a pay-as-you-go service that scales out with your needs. If you've used SQL Server before, you'll easily transition into using SQL Azure. Because SQL Azure is hosted in a data center, you don't need to do anything to manage it (e.g., upgrade, configure, patch, and so on). Also, because SQL Azure is scalable and elastic, ...

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