New Azure SQL Database free offer

Nils Pohlmann

We are excited to announce the public preview of the new Azure SQL Database free offer that gives you a fully featured Azure SQL serverless database with a free amount of 100,000 vCore seconds of compute and 32 GB of storage plus 32 GB of backup storage every month, for the lifetime of your subscription. This offer is available for one database per Azure subscription and is ideal for new Azure customers looking to develop for free, learn SQL, or create a proof of concept, as well as existing Azure customers that are considering adding another database.

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Get started today

To learn more about the offer, see Azure SQL Database documentation. If you already have an Azure account, you can head straight to the Azure SQL Database provisioning page and select the Apply offer button in the banner at the top of the page. This offer is now live in all regions!

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Offer details

The Azure SQL Database free offer gives you access to the same features and capabilities as the General Purpose tier, which is the most popular and versatile service tier for Azure SQL Database. You can use it to run a variety of workloads ranging from daily usage to higher performance short term usage, depending on how you configure your database. You can choose from .5 vCore to 4 vCore with the free amount and scale up or down as needed. You can also take advantage of the serverless option that automatically pauses your database when not in use and resumes it when needed, saving you compute costs and extending your free amount.

With the Azure SQL Database Free offer, you can get a free database with any type of subscription, including pay-as-you-go, enterprise agreement, or Microsoft partner network. The offer does not expire after 12 months and renews every month with a new free amount.

If you use up your free amount of 100,000 vCore seconds before the end of the month, you have two options:

  • You can let your database auto-pause and resume using it when the next month starts with a new free amount.
  • You can switch to continue usage mode and keep using your database for additional charges. In continue usage mode, you will still get a free amount every month, but now you will have additional capabilities unlocked such as ability to scale all the way up to 80vCores of compute and 4 terabytes of storage, making this the perfect database for both getting started and growing your business.

The best part is that you don’t have to start over with another database when you switch to continue usage mode. You can keep your existing data, schema, settings, and connections and seamlessly transition from free to paid usage. This makes the Azure SQL Database Free offer a great way to get started and scale up without having to migrate or reconfigure your database.
You can monitor your usage and costs from the portal with new “Free amount remaining” metrics.

Develop for free

The Azure SQL Database Free offer is designed for anyone who wants to develop and scale their SQL workloads starting with a free amount. Whether you are a student, a developer, a small business owner, or an enterprise customer, you can use this offer to create a fully featured Azure SQL database that meets your needs and budget.

Some of the scenarios where you can use this offer are:

  • Developing a new app or website that uses SQL as the backend database.
  • Learning SQL or improving your skills with hands-on practice and tutorials.
  • Creating a proof of concept or a prototype for a new project or idea.
  • Adding another database to your existing Azure subscription for testing or experimentation purposes.
  • Rebuilding an app from on-premises or another cloud provider to Azure.

With the Azure SQL Database free offer, you can enjoy the benefits of a cloud-native relational database service that offers high availability, performance, security, scalability, and compatibility with SQL Server. You can also leverage the rich ecosystem of tools and services that integrate with Azure SQL Database, such as Azure Data Studio, Visual Studio Code, Azure Data Factory, Azure Synapse Analytics, Power BI, and more.

Learn more  

The Azure SQL Database Free offer is available now and you can start using it today. Don’t miss this opportunity to get a free Azure SQL database that can help you achieve your goals and grow your business. To learn more about this offer, visit the Azure SQL Database documentation. To get started, create your free database from the Azure portal by creating an Azure SQL Database resource.
We hope you enjoy this new offer, and we look forward to hearing your feedback and seeing what you build with Azure SQL Database.


Discussion is closed. Login to edit/delete existing comments.

  • Jan Rajnoha 0

    I tried free offer, but found out, this offer is not fully available in Poland. When I create DB server there, I’m charged for vCore seconds, but in, for example, Germany, it is okay. Is it intentional limitation or bug?

    • Nils PohlmannMicrosoft employee 0

      Hi Jan,
      Thanks for reporting, the offer is now fully rolled out to all Azure regions, so it should be working in Poland Central, but looks like we have an issue there. Investigating, will update shortly.

    • martin young 0

      I actually did get the free Azure SQL Server resource up and connected. I chose the ‘autopause’ option but for some reason, I came back the next day and all the free vCore seconds were used up!
      Do we have to manually close the connectionStrings collecting in the connection pool? I thought this was done by default by the ‘using’ statement in C#.

      How do I ensure the seconds are not being used up when I have closed the app in the browser?

      • Nils PohlmannMicrosoft employee 0

        Hi Martin,
        Sorry to hear your credits ran out. They should refresh today with the new month.
        In general, yes, connections do need to be closed to preserve credits. If you have tools open that are accessing the db, the serverless db will be unable to go into pause. There are some tips on how to save credits in the FAQ here:


  • Craig Barbisan 0

    Can this offer be applied to an existing database?

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