Shove this in your orafce: Microsoft fiddles with cloudy databases as Build 2019 recedes

Making that migration to Azure Database for PostgreSQL that little bit easier

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As it continued to wipe the residue of Build from the streets of Seattle, Microsoft made good on Azure database promises with a slew of updates for its cloudy database stack.

Cosmos DB gets SQL tweaks and ARM (no, not that one) support

Cosmos DB – Microsoft's take on a globally distributed, multi-model database – received enhanced query functionality in its SQL API as support for Distinct, Skip & Take, Correlated Subquery, and Composite Indexes became generally available. All grist to the mill of querying JSON with SQL.

The Cosmos DB gang also reckoned performance of aggregates in queries is also improved, claiming "in most cases" consumption of those potentially pricey Request Units (RU) will "decrease significantly."

The Azure Resource Manager (ARM) also got a tickling with the Cosmos DB stick, with the cloudy technology providing support for containers and databases in ARM. ARM users can now provision objects and set throughput as well as setting up custom roles to create, delete or modify settings on Cosmos DB databases and containers.

In your face, orafce. Azure PostgreSQL gets a new extension and more replication

As well as the ongoing tinkering with Cosmos DB, the popular orafce extension has also put in an appearance for Azure Database for PostgreSQL. Orafce is an extension containing a bunch of handy functions to help with porting databases away from the clutches of Big Red to the world of PostgreSQL.

Although, as its maintainers point out, the selection of functions (including code for string and date wrangling) are also just handy to have around. For its part, Microsoft described the support as a "frequent feature ask".

Azure fans can use the extension in all versions of the database supported on Microsoft's cloudy platform (currently 10.7, 9.6.12 and 9.5.16) although Azure Database for PostgreSQL doesn't support the utl_file  and  PLVlex orafce packages.

Azure PostgreSQL fans (along with Azure Database for MySQL users) also received a preview of cross-region asynchronous replication. A single-region version of the technology had already become generally available back in April for PostgreSQL, but multi-region is more useful in a full-on disaster recovery scenario.

Not that an Azure region would occasionally fall over, right?

As with the single-region incarnation, the technology allows up to five read-only replica servers for every master to balance out workloads.

Taking it slow with Azure Database for MariaDB

Finally, Microsoft has also made generally available support for slow query log integration with Azure Monitor. The latter allows logs to be exported to Azure Monitor logs (originally called Log Analytics before getting a pasting with the big brush of Azure branding) for analysis as well as Azure Storage, where the data can be held for a longer period of time. ®


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