Windows Azure SDK: connecting to non SQLExpress Instance

When you want to build an Azure application, but you don’t have SQL Express installed the build action in Visual Studio will fail.

You will receive the following message in your output window:

Windows Azure Tools: Failed to initialize the Development Storage service. Unable to start Development Storage. Failed to start Development Storage: the SQL Server instance ‘localhost\SQLExpress’ could not be found. Please configure the SQL Server instance for Development Storage using the ‘DSInit’ utility in the Windows Azure SDK.

To fix this you open the Windows Azure SDK Command Prompt:

Windows Azure SDK Command Prompt

And enter the following text:

dsinit /sqlinstance:.

dsinit /sqlinstance:.

This will cause Azure to use the default instance (with no name). You can switch this to whatever you like, just replace the . (dot) by the appropriate MS SQL instance.

The result will look like this:

Development Storage Initialization

Good luck, happy coding.