Welcome!

.NET Authors: Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Pat Romanski, ChandraShekar Dattatreya, Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Jim Kaskade

Blog Feed Post

Data Security Using SQL Azure



One of the major concerns in using SQL Azure is the security of data such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, salaries, bonuses etc. The degree to which data needs to be protected is to be determined by each business entity but generally, on-site data is more secure than data stored in the cloud.
This is a simple example of using SQL Server Integration Services SIS and SQL Server Reporting Services tools to accomplish just that.
We start off with this scenario: The fictitious company SecureAce wants to place one of their Employee tables on SQL Azure, but they do not want to keep any sensitive information such as employee salaries. However from time to time they need to generate report of their employees and salaries to management.
The solution to this scenario is divided in two parts.
In the first part, the on-site data in the employees table is partitioned in such a way that the sensitive information stays on-site and the larger, non-sensitive data is stored on SQL Azure.
In the second part SSIS is used to bring the two pieces of data together and load an Access database (on-site) which is used as a front end for reporting information to management, an entirely realistic way of data management. Although a Microsoft Access database is used, any other destination handled by SSIS can also be used[s1] , such as another SQL Server database. Herein we used MS Access as it is a very common product used in many small businesses.
 It may be noted however that Microsoft is now supporting connecting SQL Azure to MS Access directly, review this link for details: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/ssdsgetstarted/thread/05dd7620-f209-43d2-8c41-63b251c62970. With the availability of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010, the author was able to directly connect to SQL Azure using an ODBC connection.
Splitting the data and uploading to SQL Azure
This is a preparation for the SSIS task that follows. We will be using Northwind database’s Employee table and splitting it in two parts each containing different columns, a vertical partition. One part will remain on site which contains the salary information of employees and the other which is loaded to SQL Azure will contain most of other information.  In the Northwind database, the employee table does not have a salary column and hence an extra column will be added for this simulation. The procedure is described in the following[s2]  steps[Maitreya3] .
·         Create a table Employees in VerticalPart using the following statement:
CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Employees](
[EmployeeID] [int] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED NOT NULL,
[LastName] [nvarchar](20) NOT NULL,
[FirstName] [nvarchar](10) NOT NULL,
[HomePhone] [nvarchar](24) NULL,
[Extension] [nvarchar](4) NULL,
[Salary] [money] NULL
)
·         Use Import / Export Wizard to populate the columns (except Salary) of the above table using Northwind's Employees table
·         Modify table by adding salary for each employee
[s6] [j7] There are only few employees and this should not be a problem. When you want to save the table, you may not be able to do so unless you have turned-on this option, in the Tools menu of SSMS. You will get a reply after you save [s8] [j9] the Employees table as shown.

Now run a SELECT query to verify that the salary column has been populated as shown.


Copy the script for Northwind’s Employee table and modify it by changing the table name and removing some columns resulting in the following statement:

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[AzureEmployees](
[EmployeeID] [int] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED  NOT NULL,
[LastName] [nvarchar](20) NOT NULL,
[FirstName] [nvarchar](10) NOT NULL,
[Title] [nvarchar](30) NULL,
[TitleOfCourtesy] [nvarchar](25) NULL,
[HireDate] [datetime] NULL,
[Address] [nvarchar](60) NULL,
[City] [nvarchar](15) NULL,
[Region] [nvarchar](15) NULL,
[PostalCode] [nvarchar](10) NULL,
[Country] [nvarchar](15)
)
Note that the table name has been changed to AzureEmployees. This is the table that will be stored in the Bluesky database on SQL Azure.
Login to SQL Azure and create the table in Bluesky database by running the above create table statement.
The table will be created with the above schema which you may verify in the Object Browser.

Use Import and Export Wizard to populate the columns of AzureEmployees with data from Northwind. Use the query option to move data from source to destination using the following query.
SELECT EmployeeID, LastName, FirstName,
Title, TitleOfCourtesy, HireDate,
Address, City,Region, PostalCode,
Country
FROM
Employees
Save the query results to the AzureEmployees table you created earlier as shown. 

 
Follow wizard’s steps to review data mapping as shown


Complete the wizard steps as shown.


Verify data in AzureEmployees in Bluesky database on SQL Azure by running a SELECT statement.
By following the above we have created two tables, one on-site and the other on SQL Azure.
Although data transformation of string data types did not present any error due to string length it could present some problems if the string length is over 8000 if the strings are of type varchar (max) and text. In these cases just change them to nvarchar (max) to overcome the problem. For details review the following link:  http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sqlazure/archive/2010/06/01/10018602.aspx
Merging data and loading an Access database
In this section we will reconstruct the Employees table on-site by retrieving data from SQL Azure as well as SQL Server’s VerticalPart database and merge them. After merging them, we will place them in an MS Access database so that simple reports can be authored.
In order to do this we take the following steps.
  1. Click open BIDS from its shortcut.
  2. Create a Integration Services Project after providing a name for the project. Change the default name of the Package file.
The Project folder should appear as shown in the next image. Project name and Package name were provided.

  1. Drag and drop a Data Flow task to the Control Flow tabbed page of the package designer surface.
  2.  In the bottom pane Connection Managers, configure connection managers one each for SQL Azure database; VerticalPart database on SQL Server 2008; and an MS Access database as shown.



The next image shows the details of the connection manager Hodentek3\KUMO.VerticalPart. Note that SqlClient Data Provider is used. The SQL Server Hodentek3\KUMO is configured for Windows Authentication.



This next image shows the connection xxxxxxxxxx.database.windows.net.Bluesky.mysorian1 for the Bluesky database on SQL Azure. The authentication information is the same one you have used so far and, if it is correct you should be able to see the available databases.


  1. Create an MS Access database (Access 2003 format) and use it for this connection.
Later we also create a table in this database to receive the merged fields from SQL Azure and the on-site server.
For this connection manager we use the following settings and verify by clicking the Test Connection button:
Provider:                 Native OLE DB\Microsoft Jet 4.0 OLE DB Provider
Database file is at:  C:\Users\Jay\AccessSQLAzure.mdb
User name:              Admin
Password:               <empty>

It is assumed that the reader has familiarity with using SSIS. The author recommends his own book on SSIS for beginners, which may be found here: https://www.packtpub.com/sql-server-integration-services-visual-studio-2005/book.
Each of the above connections can be tested using the Test Connection button on them.
Merging columns from SQL Azure and SQL Server
You will use two ADO.NET Source data flow sources, one each for SQL Azure and SQL Server. The outputs will be merged.
  1. Add two ADO.NET data flow sources to the tabbed designer pane Data Flow.
  2. Rename the default names of the source components to read From SQL Azure Database and From SQL Server 2008 database.



  1. Configure the ADO.NET Source Editor connected to SQL Azure to display the following as shown in the next image.
ADO.NET Connection manager: XXXXXXX.database.windows.net.Bluesky.mysorian1
Data access mode: Table or view
Name of the table or view: "dbo"."AzureEmployees"
You must use the server name appropriate for your SQL Azure instance.

Configured as shown and you should be able to view the data in this table with the Preview…button.


  1. Configure the ADO.NET Source Editor connected to SQL Server to display the following as shown in the next image.
Use the following details to configure  From SQL Server 2008 database source used in the ADO.NET Source Editor are as follows:
ADO.NET Connection manager: Hodentek3\KUMO.Verticalpart
Data access mode: Table or view
Name of the table or view: "dbo"."Employees"


Again you should be able to view the data in this table with the Preview…button.
Sorting the outputs of the sources
Since the data coming at the exit point of the sources are not sorted it is important to get the sorting correct and same in both sources before they can be merged.
  1. Drag and drop two Sort dataflow controls from the Toolbox to the design surface just below the ADO.NET data sources.
  2. Start with the one that is going to be receiving its input from the From SQL Azure Database source control.
  3. Click From SQL Azure Database and drag and drop the green dangling line on to the Sort control below it as shown.



  1. Double click the Sort control to display the Sort Transformation Editor and place a check mark for EmployeeID as shown.

  1. Repeat the same procedure for the From SQL Server 2008 Database source. Now we have two sort controls receiving their inputs from two source controls with outputs sorted.
  2. Drag and drop a Merge Join Data Flow Transformation from the Toolbox on to the design surface.
  3. Click the Sort data flow transformation on the left (connected to From SQL Azure Database) and drag and drop its green dangling line on to the Merge Join data flow transformation.
The Input Output Selection window will be displayed as shown.



  1. Select the Merge Join Left Input and click OK.
  2. Repeat the same for the other Sort on the right (this time select Merge Join Right Output).
This Merge control now merges the output from the two sort controls and provides a merged output.
You still need to configure the Merge Join.
  1. Double click Merge Join to open the Merge Join Transformation editor page as shown.
Read the instructions on this window.



  1. Place check mark for EmployeeID in both the Sort lists shown in the top pane. The bottom pane gets populated with Input columns and Output aliases. Make sure the join type is Left outer join as in the above image (use drop-down handle if needed).
We can add for each flow path a Data Viewer so that we can monitor the flow of data at run time by momentarily stopping the flow downstream. We are skipping this diagnostic step.
Porting output data from Merge Join to an MS Access Database
We will be using the merged data from the two sources to fill up a table in an MS Access 2003 database. 
  1. In the MS Access database you created while setting up the Connection Managers create a table, Salary Report table with the design parameters shown in the next image.


  1. Drag and drop an OLE DB Destination component from the Toolbox on to the package designer pane just underneath the Merge Join component.
  2. Drag and drop the green dangling line from Merge Join to the OLE DB Destination component.
  3. Double click the OLE DB Destination component to open its editor and fill in the details as follows:
OLEDB connection manager:   AccessSQLAzure
Data access mode:                     Table or View
Name of the table or view:        Salary Report


  1. Click Mappings to verify all the columns are present.
  2. Build the project and execute the package.
The package elements turn yellow and later green indicating a successful run.
You can verify the table in the access database for the transferred values. This should have all the merged columns from the two databases. Note that in the image, columns have been rearranged to move the Salary column into view.


This is an excerpt of Chapter 6 from my book:
Book published by http://www.packtpub.com/






 [s1]Do you want to elaborate on this a bit and put it up as a tip for the readers?
 [s2]This sounds like an incomplete sentence. Please complete it
 [Maitreya3]'....in the following procedure:' or a similar term can be used. This statement sounds incomplete.
 [s4]This looks out of place. Do we need an explanation under this or do we have it as a part of the explanation above?
 [j5]Modified. Part of a number of steps, now bulleted.
 [s6]How about a numbered bullet list here?
 [j7]Modified
 [s8]Save what?
 [j9]Modified

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Jayaram Krishnaswamy

Jayaram Krishnaswamy is a technical writer, mostly writing articles that are related to the web and databases. He is the author of SQL Server Integration Services published by Packt Publishers in the UK. His book, 'Learn SQL Server Reporting Services 2008' was also published by Packt Publishers Inc, Birmingham. 3. "Microsoft SQL Azure Enterprise Application Development" (Dec 2010) was published by Packt Publishing Inc. 4. "Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch Business Application Development [Paperback] "(2011) was published by Packt Publishing Inc. 5. "Learning SQL Server Reporting Services 2012 [Paperback]" (June 2013) was Published by Packt Publishing Inc. Visit his blogs at: http://hodentek.blogspot.com http://hodentekHelp.blogspot.com http://hodnetekMSSS.blogspot.com http://hodnetekMobile.blogspot.com He writes articles on several topics to many sites.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
There's Big Data, then there's really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, discussed how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.