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Data Migration Assistant - Azure SQL Database (1)In today’s blog/video I’ll walk through using the Data Migration Assistant to assess for migrating an on premises SQL Server Database to an Azure SQL Database. For those who are unaware, the Data Migration Assistant enables you to upgrade to a modern data platform by detecting compatibility issues that can impact database functionality on your Azure SQL Database, as well as SQL Server on an Azure VM. It also recommends performance and reliability improvements.

This tool is free and available for download. Let’s take a look:

  • To begin, install the DMA tool and launch the program from the desktop icon or pin it to your task bar.
  • From the Main Screen, you can start a new project by clicking on the ‘+’ sign. In this example we are looking for assessment, so we’ve selected Assessment, not Migration, for the Project Type.
  • Next, provide a Project Name, Source Server Type (we chose SQL Server) and Target Server Type (we chose Azure SQL Database), then click ‘Create’.
  • From here, we’ll have other options for the report type. We want to check the Database Compatibility and Feature Parity options.
  • Now we want to connect to the Source Server where the database we want to migrate is located by clicking the ‘Next’ button, putting in the server name and clicking ‘Connect’.
  • We’ll see the databases available on the source system. Select the database you want to target for this assessment and click ‘Add’.
  • In the next window, we start the assessment by clicking ‘Start Assessment’. The process takes a few seconds to a few minutes depending upon the size of the database being evaluated.
  • Once complete, the assessment results will appear on the screen. The results of the first option are the details of the SQL Server feature parity. Here we can review the detailed recommendations of the unsupported/partially supported features.
  • This recommendation section provides info on the options available on the Azure SQL Database. In your case on your on premises database, you’ll see these only if your database is using these features.
  • Next, we click the ‘Compatibility Issues’ button to review the feature compatibility issues. In our report there were no issues that may block migration to Azure SQL DB. If there were issues, you’d see a list of database options that are not supported on the Azure SQL Database.
  • The Data Migration Assistant will recommend disabling these options from the database before it is a potential migration blocker.
  • To extract the assessment as a report, click on ‘Export Report’ and you can save the report as a JSON or CSV file.

The Data Migration Assistant is a great free tool for detecting compatibility issues before you begin migration to a modern data platform. I hope this demo was helpful. If you have questions or need help using this tool or any Azure tool or resource, you’re in the right place. Click the link below or contact us—we’re here to help.

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