How To: Send e-mails from your Windows Azure Virtual Machine (VM) to Office 365 (Exchange)

WindowsAzure

After a few hours of struggling, I found that (for now) the only method of sending e-mails from your SQL Server Instance (inside a Windows Azure Virtual Machine / Environment) is to setup a SMTP-service in IIS 6.0 (Yes I know, but SQL Server doesn’t support the use of ‘TLS encryption‘). Mohamed M Malek posted a step-by-step blogpost which will provide you a grant tour on how to set this up, click here.

I’ve tested this solution in a Windows Azure VM:
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition (from the Virtual Machine Catalog in Windows Azure)
SQL Server 2012 Express Edition

Yes the Express Edition of SQL Server does indeed supports sending mails by using sp_send_dbmail(). More info on how to set that up: click here

Important settings:
Do not fill in any username or password details in Account:
@username=’tanmaya@mydomain.com’,
@password=’1qwe432′,

LocalHost will serve as an SMTP-server for the Account:
@mailserver_name=’localhost’

-> Don’t forget to stop and start the SMTP-service!

The Office 365 version I’m currently using is the ‘Office 365 for professionals and small businesses‘.

Windows Azure Reporting now available!

News from MSDN Blogs! (URL)

Today, we are ushering in the new era of Hybrid Cloud, bringing together the best of on-premises and cloud computing. Virtual Machines, Virtual Network, and Web Sites are now available as new preview services for Windows Azure. SQL Reporting is now Generally Available to customers, a locally redundant storage option has been added to provide additional customer choice, and several enhancements to existing Windows Azure services are now live. These updates help customers build and bring their applications to the cloud in their own unique way.

Additionally, a number of pricing and metering updates have been made to increase overall value. These changes include graduated pricing for Network, CDN and Storage; preview pricing for Windows Server and Non-Windows VMs; and a 90% reduction in Storage and CDN transaction prices.

With SQL Reporting on Azure, developers can use familiar tools such as the Business Intelligence Development Studio and SQL Server Data Tools to author reports, just as they do today when running SQL Server Reporting services on-premises. SQL Reporting on Azure provides consistent APIs to view, execute and manage reports along with rich formatting and data visualization options.

Report Formats
With SQL Reporting, you have the ability to export reports to various popular file formats including Excel, Word, HTML, PDF, XML, and CSV.

Pricing (more info here):

You can try this great service free of charge for billing periods beginning prior to August 1, 2012. Thereafter, the charge will be $0.88 per hour per reporting instance.

Well…If you’re interested, I’ll only charge you $0.60 per hour if you want to run your reports on a SSRS Instance all features supported! SQL Database (2008R2 / 2012) on a shared SQL Hotel is also possible, hosted in EasyNet‘s datacenter in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Contact me for more info.