Get your hands on SQL Server 2016 RC3 on Azure

[ Note: This post is for beginners with Microsoft Azure and just about creating the environment. Will cover few exciting features in the next blog posts ]

Expiry date of the post: 1st June 2016
A post, with an expiry date ! Sounds illogical, isn’t it?
Well, it’s true and I will explain this soon.

If you are from database background and have ever used SQL Server or currently working on areas related to data or SQL Server, you must be aware of the trending buzz among the people around you. A more faster, secure and powerful SQL Server, SQL Server 2016 will be available soon. Microsoft continuously surprising people with their moves towards making many development tools like Visual Studio, .Net etc cross-platform, open-source and more feature rich. SQL Server 2016 have few surprises too and with many new features & improvements.

The biggest news this year for database professionals was the announcement to make SQL Server available to run on Linux OS (the expected time for availability is mid of 2017, though). Apart from this, peoples¬†at Microsoft have worked hard to bring many exciting features to SQL Server 2016 in the areas like Security, BI, Data Warehousing, Analytics etc. There are many improvements and new features added to the SQL Server Management Studio too. Microsoft has announced to release SQL Server 2016 on 1st of June 2016, around 13 days more. Once it’s available you can download and checkout the features. As announced earlier, the developer edition will also be free along with Express edition as usual. Now, if you are somebody who can’t wait for another 13 days period (like me ūüėČ ) then let’s see what are the options available with¬†us. As you might already know, SQL Server 2016 RC3 (Release Candidate) is available for download, you can just download and install it in your machine. But for just 13 days, ¬†the better option is to create a free Azure account with promotional $200 credit and checkout the features without harming to your existing system. Hopefully, I have clarified on the “Expiry Date” note.

The process is very clear and simple.

  1. Open
  2. Following screen should appear
    You can see $200 credit offer which will be valid for 30 days. Click Start now.
  3. You will be redirected to the Azure login page. Provide your existing Microsoft account details or create a new one using Sign up now.
  4. Once you are logged in, either click on Portal or just visit
  5. You should be presented with something like following screenshot. Right side is your dashboard which you can customize as per your need and the left menu lists out the broad categories of Azure service offered. Click on the Virtual machines.
  6. Click Add.
  7. Find SQL Server in the list and click on it.
  8. As you march forward, you’ll notice that further settings are getting opened as a new panel on the right side. Find SQL Server 2016 RC3 Evaluation on Windows Server 2012 R2 towards the bottom of the list and click on it.
  9. Just click on the Create button for now.
  10. You need to provide some more details about your virtual machine. Go ahead with filling Basic settings first. Note that I have used Azure Pass as subscription here but you will have the free trial option if you have signed up for free trial, otherwise your existing subscriptions.
  11. At next step, you need to select the size which lists out the hardware details for each of the option. Choose a size from the recommended category only as these are the options which meets the hardware requirement specification that is published by the publisher (Microsoft in our case).
    NOTE: Prices mentioned in these options will be charged from your subscription account. If you are using Azure Pass or Free Trial, you can use those subscriptions to purchase this. For Free Trial, make sure not to agree for paying from your credit card. The subscription days should be truncated as per your balance in the subscription.
  12. Next, you can customize various other settings such as Storage, Network etc. or just click OK to navigate to next step.
  13. Then few more settings for your SQL Server instance like whether you want to use it inside VM, Virtual Network or available publicly over internet etc. You can customize according to your need or just click OK.
  14. Then it will run a final validation and clicking on OK should start the deployment. You will be redirected the dashboard and you can see the progress there.
  15. Once deployment is completed, you will be notified with a message “Deployment Succeeded”. Just copy the public IP from your virtual machine details and do the RDC (Remote Desktop Connection)
  16. Your VM is now ready with SQL Server 2016 RC3 installed in it. Type “SSMS”¬†in the start screen and pin it to Task Bar or Start Screen and start using it.

That’s all for now. In my next blog posts, I will share some interesting features that are introduced with SQL Server 2016. Stay Tuned !

Thanks for reading ūüôā








Things to know before Global Azure Bootcamp

Boot-Print-(1)I am sure the news must have reached to you, after all it’s not the age when one waits for the mails to be handed over to him/her by the gentle-well uniformed-postman. The electronic mails termed as email have killed the time consuming process and won the battle against traditional mails to self declare as the King. All the news are at your finger tip now. All the information, around the globe can be served by Bing Sir and Google Sir. Hah..Life got really easy and getting better, isn’t it? Well, I am not going to take your time by telling you the story which is very known to you. Let’s quietly jump to the next paragraph then. Shhhhhhhhhhhh….Please don’t make noise, I am going to write about something very interesting.

globalazurebootcamplogo2016Well … Well.. Well…Global Azure Bootcamp.Very few days to go. If you are new to Global Azure Bootcamp,¬†check this official link for details. This time, it’s happening across the planet on 16th April 2016. I am very excited to attend yet another chapter of Global Azure Bootcamp. ¬†It’s an event where technical experts, IT Pros, Renowned Speakers, MVPs, MSPs, Developers, Students and people who love technology gather together to share – learn – gossip on cloud computing. A full day deep dive for developing cloud computing apps. It’s one of the largest global community event on the planet. This time, it’s happening in more than 150 locations across the globe.

If you are interested, you can find a location near you Global Azure Bootcamp Locations.

Few information about Global Azure Bootcamp 2016

  1. If you are available over Facebook or Twitter and posting something about Global Azure Bootcamp, you can use official hashtag #GlobalAzure
  2. Connect @Azure on Twitter
  3. Connect Microsoft Azure , Global Azure Bootcamp on Facebook
  4. Check Azure Blog

Want to learn the basics before you participate in Global Azure Bootcamp this year? (if you are new to Azure like me)
..then check following links which may help in this regard..

Video Tutorials:

  1. MVA (Microsoft Virtual Academy)
    Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
    Other Microsoft Azure Courses
  2. Windows Azure Free training videos from Devcurry 


  1. Sorry. No links this time. Just Bing it or Google it.

Free Books:

  1. Fundamentals of Azure : Microsoft Azure Essentials
  2. Building Cloud Apps with Microsoft Azure
  3. Microsoft Azure Essentials: Azure Machine Learning

Global Azure Bootcamp Bhubaneswar 2016

MSDC Odisha is organizing the event at Bhubaneswar yet another time. I am lucky to be a member of MSDCOdisha team and excited to learn new stuffs this time too. It was a great success last year with a huge no of audience and my favorite speakers Abhisek Sur, Pooja Baraskar, Abhishek Nandy, Sumantro Mukherjee, Nirmal Hota & Tadit Dash. You can find more details about the last year event at

This time we have planned it to make more interesting. We have invited very experienced speakers and IT Pros to make it a more learning day for all of us. Hopefully, we would meet at the event.

Few information if you are looking to join us-
1. Register here
2. Location: ITER, SOA University, Bhubaneswar
3. Time: 9:30 AM to 5 PM
4. More information at the event page
Global Azure Bootcamp Bhubaneswar 2016
5. Contact : MSDC Odisha Team


Hopefully, it was worth investing your valuable 10 minutes reading this post. Would like to hear back some sweet or bitter :p words from you. In case you want to know more please feel free to drop me an email at


Here are some pics of the last year Global Azure Bootcamp at Bhubaneswar

For more photos check this GAB 2015.