Copy a database in Azure SQL Database to a new server using the Azure CLI

Applies to: Azure SQL Database

This Azure CLI script example creates a copy of an existing database in a new server.

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create an Azure free account before you begin.


Sample script

Launch Azure Cloud Shell

The Azure Cloud Shell is a free interactive shell that you can use to run the steps in this article. It has common Azure tools preinstalled and configured to use with your account.

To open the Cloud Shell, select Try it from the upper right corner of a code block. You can also launch Cloud Shell in a separate browser tab by going to

When Cloud Shell opens, verify that Bash is selected for your environment. Subsequent sessions will use Azure CLI in a Bash environment. Select Copy to copy the blocks of code, paste it into the Cloud Shell, and press Enter to run it.

Sign in to Azure

Cloud Shell is automatically authenticated under the initial account signed-in with. Use the following script to sign in using a different subscription, replacing <Subscription ID> with your Azure Subscription ID. If you don't have an Azure subscription, create an Azure free account before you begin.

subscription="<subscriptionId>" # add subscription here

az account set -s $subscription # ...or use 'az login'

For more information, see set active subscription or log in interactively

Run the script

# Copy a database in Azure SQL Database to a new server

# Variable block
let "randomIdentifier=$RANDOM*$RANDOM"
location="East US"
targetLocation="Central US"

echo "Using resource group $resourceGroup with login: $login, password: $password..."

echo "Creating $resourceGroup in location $location and $targetResourceGroup in $targetLocation..."
az group create --name $resourceGroup --location "$location" --tags $tag
az group create --name $targetResourceGroup --location "$targetLocation"

echo "Creating $server in $location and $targetServer in $targetLocation..."
az sql server create --name $server --resource-group $resourceGroup --location "$location" --admin-user $login --admin-password $password
az sql server create --name $targetServer --resource-group $targetResourceGroup --location "$targetLocation" --admin-user $login --admin-password $password

echo "Creating $database on $server..."
az sql db create --name $database --resource-group $resourceGroup --server $server --service-objective S0

echo "Copying $database on $server to $targetDatabase on $targetServer..."
az sql db copy --dest-name $targetDatabase --dest-resource-group $targetResourceGroup --dest-server $targetServer --name $database --resource-group $resourceGroup --server $server

Clean up resources

Use the following command to remove the resource group and all resources associated with it using the az group delete command - unless you have an ongoing need for these resources. Some of these resources may take a while to create, as well as to delete.

az group delete --name $targetResourceGroup
az group delete --name $resourceGroup

Sample reference

This script uses the following commands. Each command in the table links to command specific documentation.

Command Description
az sql db copy Creates a copy of a database that uses the snapshot at the current time.

Next steps

For more information on Azure CLI, see Azure CLI documentation.

Additional SQL Database CLI script samples can be found in the Azure SQL Database documentation.