Azure SQL Data Sync

Azure SQL Data Sync has been generally available for almost a year now. Have you heard of it? Are you using it? Microsoft’s page tell us that “Data Sync is useful in cases where data needs to be kept up-to-date across several Azure SQL databases or SQL Server databases.” When you want to learn about a new product or feature, who better to ask than the Senior Project Manager in charge of it? Today we chat about Azure SQL Data Sync with Xiaochen Wu from Microsoft. He explains how it works, why you might want to use it, it’s current limitations and what’s in the pipeline in the way of improvements. It’s an exciting time to be in technology and a great conversation!

Episode Quotes

“Azure SQL Data Sync allows you to synchronize your data between Azure SQL Database and any other SQL endpoint.”

“Data Sync will allow you to choose which table and which column in the table you want to sync. So basically, you don’t have to sync the whole database, you can only sync the data which needs to be synchronized among all of those databases.”

“Data Sync [is] a managed service. Once it’s set up, it should just work. When it stops working, you can call Microsoft and we will look at it or we’ll fix it.”

Listen to Learn

00:40     Intro to guest and topic
01:40     Compañero Shout-Outs
03:35     SQL Server in the News
05:30     SQL Trail Announcement
06:19     What Azure SQL Data Sync is and what it can do
09:09     Why you would choose this feature over replication
10:51     Doing bi-directional syncing over multiple databases with sync groups
13:13     What happens if it’s a ‘member wins’ but two members have different values?
15:18     How Azure Data Sync can help you understand performance
17:30     Microsoft is working on giving periodical updates on your sync
18:42     Knowing what you want to sync will help you determine your cost
21:04     What syncing distributed databases looks like from an architectural perspective
23:40     Comparison to CosmosDB
25:34     What does the Sync Agent do?
29:05     Some limitations with Azure SQL Data Sync – database requirements
31:02     The initial process to getting started with Azure SQL Data Sync
32:35     What happens with schema changes?
34:15     Thank you to Xiaochen and Microsoft for being willing and available to help us
34:50     SQL Family Questions
40:12     Closing Thoughts


Music for SQL Server in the News by Mansardian

Our Guest

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Xiaochen Wu

Xiaochen Wu is a Senior Program Manager on SQL Team at Microsoft. He has been working with SQL Server and Azure SQL Databases for more than 10 years. Xiaochen is now working on backup and data integration for SQL Server and Azure SQL Databases.

Meet the Hosts

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Carlos Chacon

With more than 10 years of working with SQL Server, Carlos helps businesses ensure their SQL Server environments meet their users’ expectations. He can provide insights on performance, migrations, and disaster recovery. He is also active in the SQL Server community and regularly speaks at user group meetings and conferences. He helps support the free database monitoring tool found at and provides training through SQL Trail events.

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Eugene Meidinger

Eugene works as an independent BI consultant and Pluralsight author, specializing in Power BI and the Azure Data Platform. He has been working with data for over 8 years and speaks regularly at user groups and conferences. He also helps run the GroupBy online conference.

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Kevin Feasel

Kevin is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and proprietor of Catallaxy Services, LLC, where he specializes in T-SQL development, machine learning, and pulling rabbits out of hats on demand. He is the lead contributor to Curated SQL, president of the Triangle Area SQL Server Users Group, and author of the books PolyBase Revealed (Apress, 2020) and Finding Ghosts in Your Data: Anomaly Detection Techniques with Examples in Python (Apress, 2022). A resident of Durham, North Carolina, he can be found cycling the trails along the triangle whenever the weather's nice enough.

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