Azure SQL Database suspending support for user-defined CLR assemblies

So local rockstar developer Brian Hall posted a blurb on the Orlando Devs Azure Slack room that introduced some excitement in a Friday not earmarked for entertainment in my schedule

This is the image Brian posted:

pasted_image_at_2016_04_08_08_43

My team has heavily invested in SQL CLR due to involvement with geospatial data. So the words in that email conjured up visions of spending every waking moment between now and April 15th (1 week from today) transferring all my databases to run on SQL Server on Azure VMs, not a minor undertaking by any measure.

However, I was encouraged by the fact that the email only mentions “user-defined SQL CLR” which (thankfully) we don’t have any of. Still wanting to be doubly sure I emailed the Microsoft PM who released this notice and got this response from him (edited for brevity).

Subject: RE: Question regarding Use of user-defined SQL CLR suspended in Azure SQL Database

Hi Santosh,

It depends. This block only impacts your user-defined assemblies. System CLR like geo-spatial data types will continue to work.

 

This leads me to believe my databases won’t be impacted.

However, discontinuing support on such short notice (1 week), security issues or not, is not the best moment in the history of Azure SQL Database.

For instance, you can run custom C# in SQL Server as a CLR assembly. Whether you should do this, is debatable but because Microsoft offers and supports this feature, over years some poor developer/company has built a component crucial to their business, using this feature and because Microsoft promised it would work with Azure SQL Database and given the prohibitive cost of SQL Server licensing, guess where some people hosted it? What this means is that anyone who ever used SQL Azure because Microsoft promised support for this particular scenario is S.O.L.

This is an explicit breaking of the trust that developers like myself have built in this platform over the years. We can only hope this is the last time Microsoft pulls something like this.

 

 

 

 

 

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