SQL Azure Data Sync Preview Service Update

Microsoft have just released a new service update for the SQL Azure Data Sync Service. Most notable of this release is the ability to update the Dataset definition for a Sync Group. You can now add/remove a table/column from a Dataset with some limitations in that you cannot change a column’s data type, add/edit/remove a filter or remove a column that is used as a filter. If you are synchronizing on-premise databases, updating a sync group dataset requires that you download the latest SQL Azure Data Sync Agent.

Download link:  SQL Azure Data Sync Agent Preview

Release Notes: New in this Release

April 2, 2012 – Service Update
  • Ability to update a deployed sync group.
    You can now dynamically update a sync group. See the topic Edit a Sync Group for details.
  • Added information in the portal that helps you more easily manage your sync groups.
    • The client agent version is shown with a recommendation to upgrade if your client agent is not the latest, a warning if support for your agent version expires soon and an error if your agent is no longer supported.
    • A warning for sync groups that are out-of-date due to changes failing to apply for 60 or more days.
  • Fixed issues that affected ORM (Object Relational Model) frameworks such as Entity Framework and NHibernate working with Data Sync.
  • Improved error and status messages. 

Supported changes to a sync group

Data Sync allows the following changes to a sync group:

  • Add a column to the dataset
  • Add a table to the dataset
  • Remove a column from the dataset
  • Remove a table from to the dataset
  • Change a column’s width

Documentation for Editing a Sync Group: Edit a Sync Group

Sync Group Update Limitations

The following changes to a database schema cannot be applied to a sync group. If you need to incorporate any of these changes to your sync group you need to delete and re-create the sync group.

  • Change a column’s data type.
  • Add, remove or modify a column’s filter.
  • Remove a column that has a filter


    Data Sync prevents you from removing a column from a sync group if the column belongs to a filter that is defined in that sync group.
    When you edit a sync group Data Sync does not detect filters defined in other sync groups. You are responsible for not removing a column from a sync group if the column belongs to a filter that is defined in another sync group or another subscription. Doing so may cause sync errors when inserting data into a table that contains the filtered column.


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