The Import and Export Data Wizard and SQL Azure

In my previous post I walked through migrating a database from SQL 2008 to SQL Azure.  I briefly walked you setting up your account with SQL Azure, creating a database through the Microsoft Services website.  I then covered creating tables in SQL Azure, as well as a few of the errors you may encounter along the way.  I ended that post with a mention of the Import and Export Data Wizard to copy the data from your SQL 2008 instance to your SQL Azure instance.  All I really said was you had to choose .Net Framework Data Provider for SQL Server as the connection type.

I’m seeing several questions on how to use the Import and Export Data wizard this way.  So I figured I’d walk you through this.  I’d like to point out now, that SQL Azure can be the source location or the destination.  The settings I use for SQL Azure is the important part of this lesson, not whether it is the source or destination.  For this lesson, I’m going to assume that you have a SQL 2008 server with a database and a SQL Azure instance with a database.

  1. From your local machine, go to the start menu, and open your Microsoft SQL Server programs folder, and find the icon for “Import and Export Data.  If you’re running a 64-bit Operating system, you may have two options, one 32-bit, one 64-bit.  I leave the choice up to youSQL 2008 Server Connection Properties, but I usually use the 64-bit version. I haven’t had any issues of choosing one over the other.
  2. You’ll be prompted to “choose a data source”. For this example I’ll use my SQL Server. This means using “SQL Server Native Client 10.0” for the Data Source Type (the drop down list).
  3. You’ll have to choose your Server and database.  You’ll also have to choose either Windows or SQL Server Authentication, and enter your credentials for the server.  Once all that’s filled in, click next.
  4. Sql Azure Connection Settings

  5. For the destination I’m using my Azure Database instance, so for the Data Source Type, choose “.Net Framework Data Provider for SQL Server”, the interface will change to a property sheet where you can fill in all the data for your connection string.
  6. Scroll to the bottom and fill in the following options
    • Under Security, Encrypt, choose true.
    • Enter your User ID.
    • Enter your Password.
    • For Data Source, enter your full SQL Azure Instance Name. This should be
    • For initial Catalog, choose the Database name you want to use
    • Click next.
  7. On the next screen you have two methods to copy data. You can either choose tables to copy, or you can write a query. Writing a query is reserved for a time when you want to do something more than simply move from a SQL Server instance to a SQL Azure instance, so I’ll leave that for next time. Choose “Copy data from one or more tables or views”, then click next.
  8. Choose the tables you wish to copy.  When you’re done, click Next.
  9. Choose your Source TablesOn the final screen, you can either save this SSIS package, or just click Finish to run. In my case, I’ll hit Finish.
  10. On the final screen, you will get feedback on the results of the copy. If you have any problems, email me, and I’ll do what I can to walk you through your issues.

This should put you well on your way to migrating your data from SQL Servers running locally, to SQL Azure instances in the cloud! It’s a journey, but an amazing one to take! Let me know if you need any help along the way.

By Shannon Lowder

Shannon Lowder is the Database Engineer you've been looking for! Look no further for expertise in: Business Analysis to gather the business requirements for the database; Database Architecting to design the logical design of the database; Database Development to actually build the objects needed by the business logic; finally, Database Administration to keep the database running in top form, and making sure there is a disaster recovery plan.


  1. I must say that it’s a very interesting article. I get a lot of knowledge from here. Beside that, your blog is so popular among the searchers from search engines. It means yours is great!

    1. You’ll have to provide a file or a database table as a source. If you grab a copy of the adventureworks database from Microsoft, you’ll have plenty of test data to play with in SSIS.

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