SQL Azure database users have a simpler way to archive SQL Azure and SQL Server databases, or to migrate on-premises SQL Server databases to SQL Azure. Import and export services through the Data-tier Application (DAC) framework make archival and migration much easier.
The import and export features provide the ability to retrieve and restore an entire database, including schema and data, in a single operation. If you want to archive or move your database between SQL Server versions (including SQL Azure), you can export a target database to a local export file which contains both database schema and data in a single file. Once a database has been exported to an export file, you can import the file with the new import feature. Refer to the FAQ at the end of this article for more information on supported SQL Server versions.
This release of the import and export feature is a Community Technology Preview (CTP) for upcoming, fully supported solutions for archival and migration scenarios. The DAC framework is a collection of database schema and data management services, which are strategic to database management in SQL Server and SQL Azure.