Success by a thousand cuts: Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 and SQL Azure

It seems like every time I turn around there’s something I haven’t seen in Azure. If I’m honest, it leaves me in a perpetual state of “Oh man, there is so much stuff I don’t know”. I suspect that resonates with many readers of this blog because there’s just so much stuff to keep on top of these days.

Often I’m not sure if I’ve just been overlooking something that’s always been there or if it’s brand new. Case in point: today I’m in the Azure Management Portal and I see this when I’m in the context of a SQL Azure database:

Link to "Open in Visual Studio" when in the context of a SQL Azure DB

“Open in Visual Studio” – where did that come from?! Given no obvious Google results, I’m assuming that this just hit with Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 per the message below:

In order to use this feature, ensure that you have Visual Studio 2013 with Update 4 or above with SQL Server tooling

So what’s the point of it? Well it means you get this:

Connect to SQL Azure

Which then you gives you what we’ve had with the SQL Server Data Tools for some time, that is you get your SQL Azure in the SQL Server Object Explorer:

SQL Azure in the SQL Server Object Explorer

This is kind of the point of the title: there are all these little shortcuts appearing that don’t necessarily make the headlines but take something that would normally be several steps and turn it into a one-click affair. You add all these together and you start getting back little slices of your day that you’d otherwise spend jumping in out of context between different things. You can then use those little slices to discover how much other stuff you don’t know :)

Azure Visual Studio
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Hi, I'm Troy Hunt, I write this blog, create courses for Pluralsight and am a Microsoft Regional Director and MVP who travels the world speaking at events and training technology professionals