Back Up Your Dev Storage BEFORE Updating to Windows Azure SDK 1.5

Yesterday Microsoft made available a new version of the Windows Azure SDK.  The new Windows Azure SDK 1.5 has many great features, some of which I discussed previously.

One thing that was not apparent to me before upgrading from 1.4 to 1.5 was that as part of the upgrade, a new development storage database would need to get created and I’d loose acess to all the data previously stored in development storage.  When starting the storage emulator for the first time after tooling upgrade, DSINIT should run.  DSINIT will create a new development storage database for you.  The new database should be named “DevelopmentStorageDb20110816”.  You can then connect to it using your favorite storage tool, such as Cerebrata Storage Studio or Azure Storage Explorer.  Once connecting, you will notice that all the data you had previously stored in dev storage is now gone!

Actually, the data doesn’t appear to be so much “gone” as “I can’t get there from here”.  If you take a look at your local SQL Express instance, you’ll likely notice the new “DevelopmentStorageDb20110816” database and the prior “DevelopmentStorageDb20090919” database.  How you can get to that data easily . . . . I’m not yet sure.

What to do now?  You’re best bet is likely to grab Mr. Fusion and your DeLorean and go back in time to the point prior to installing the updated Windows Azure tools.  Back up your dev storage data, and then proceed to install the new tools.  With the backup data, you can then restore it to the new dev storage.  Cerebrata has a nice walkthrough of doing so here (minus the Mr. Fusion and DeLorean part).  If you don’t have Mr. Fusion handy, you should also be able to uninstall the 1.5 tools, install the 1.4 tools, backup the data, reinstall the 1.5 tools, and then restore the data.

The lesson here – back up your dev storage data before updating to the latest Windows Azure tools.