Microsoft Virtual Academy


The Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is a free cloud-based learning environment focusing on Microsoft Technologies (Although the site states that it focuses on cloud-based technologies, I have found content in some countries not specific to the cloud).

The concept behind the MVA is similar to that of a “Virtual University”; students select a course(s) to study and then do a self-assessment exam to gauge how well they’ve understood the study material. Students also accrue points for material studied and courses completed which are used to promote them through a recognition system (Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum Level) and provide them with a comparison on how they rank against other students in their country and around the world.

As it currently stands, there is only 1 SQL Server related course (Introduction To SQL Azure) currently available in Australia (and the United States and United Kingdom) however I have been advised by the Dean that new material will become available in the near future. I also mentioned earlier that there is additional content (SQL 2008/R2/Azure, .Net, Sharepoint, Silverlight, Windows Phone) available in other countries (mainly Spain and Colombia) with some of this content being in English and some in the native language of the selected country (the Microsoft study links are good as all you need to do is change the language setting of the site to a language of your choice and the content is translated. You can also use Google Translate on some of the content).

More information about the MVA can be found in the FAQ.

SQL Azure Compatibility Assessment Service


This experimental online service provides the ability for users to analyse their SQL Server databases to see whether they’re compatible with SQL Azure.

The service provides the user with a report listing the database objects not supported on SQL Azure, and the objects that need fixing.

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What you need

What you do not need

  • Azure knowledge
  • Azure account

Give SQL Azure Compatibility Assessment Service a go today.

SQL Server 2012 Developer Training Kit


There’s been an update to the SQL Server 2012 Developers Training Kit (November 2011).

This training kit is a great resource for developers, trainers, consultants and evangelists who need to understand SQL Server 2012 and SQL Azure improvements from a developer perspective. It contains a rich set of demos, hands-on labs and presentations that are perfect for self-paced learning or for conducting your own training.

Please Note: You will need to install Microsoft Web Platform Installer 3.0 before you can install this training kit.

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