I am using Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio 2008 R2 to connect my SQL Azure account. I have had no problems connecting to the database.

However, when I tried to backup existing database from my local SQL Server and restore it using SQL Mgmt Studio, I saw a weird situation.

On my local database, when I right-click the database I can see options including but not limited to:

  • Tasks -> Back up, Restore

however, when I right-click the remote SQL Azure database I connected, I don't see these options and what I see instead are "Extract Data-tier as Application, Register Data-tier as Application".

I want to restore backup binary file that I exported using "Tasks->Back up" from my local database.

Any ideas why Restore and Back up options do not show up on context menu of remote SQL Azure database?

EDIT: Later on I discovered SQL Azure Migration Wizard on Codeplex.

migrated from stackoverflow.com Jun 16 '11 at 1:13

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You can't.

Quote from SQL Azure Overview (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee336241.aspx)

For example, you cannot specify the physical hard drive or file group where a database or index will reside. Because the computer file system is not accessible and all data is automatically replicated, SQL Server backup and restore commands are not applicable to SQL Azure Database.


Backup and Restore aren't current supports by SQL Azure. There are various ways to backup data including using BCP, Data Sync Services.

I wrote a small (currently free) tool that creates a backup of a SQL Azure database on a local SQL Server, cunningly called SQL Azure Backup. Really interested in getting feedback on it to make it better.


  • but it is going to be paid some time later (: – Ahmet Alp Balkan Jun 17 '11 at 17:30
  • Hi Richard - pretty cool. I looked at the description of the tool you wrote. Believe it or not... I also wrote one. It just made Beta. I took a different path than you by saving schema+data in a backup device to make it portable. Take a look if you have a minute: www.bluesyntax.net/backup.aspx - I would be interested in comparing notes with you. – Herve Roggero Jun 20 '11 at 17:43

Not 100% sure, but I know that Azure is a subset of SQL so they might not allow restoration of a backup in case you're using functionality and features that are not included in Azure.

You're discovering the biggest issue (in my mind) of working with SQL Azure, there aren't "simple" ways to sync between a local database and azure.

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