How to load data to SQL Azure

You can import data to SQL Azure and your data could exist in various sources such as SQL Server, Oracle, Excel, Access, flat files and others. Your data could exist in various locations. A location might be a data center, behind a corporate firewall, on a home network, or even in Windows Azure.

The following tools are commonly used for bulk upload:

BCP: This is a utility available with the SQL command line utilities that is designed for high performing bulk upload to a single SQL Server/Azure database.

SSIS: This is a powerful tool when operating on multiple heterogeneous data sources and destinations. 

Import & Export Data: A simple wizard that does not offer the wide range of configuration that SSIS provides, but is very handy for schema migration and smaller data uploads.

SSMS: This tool has the option of generating SQL Azure schema and data migration scripts. It is very useful for schema migration, but is not recommended for large data uploads.

Bulk Copy API: In the case where you need to build your own tool for maximum flexibility of programming, you could use the Bulk Copy API. This API is highly efficient and provides bulk performance similar to BCP.

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