I have two Azure SQL Database, prod and dev.

How can i daily replicate the prod database into dev database?
I have tried to automate it by exporting and importing the BACPAC file but it takes too long time.

There is Data Sync service in Azure but I am not sure if it works in one direction.
Do you have any suggestions?

4 Answers 4


The Copy Database function could be an option for you:


From my experience, it's much quicker than the BACPAC method.


You can try "Geo-replication"

Go to your prod "SQL Database", Settings > Geo-replication

Configure your dev server/database to be readable "secondary"
All changes made at prod database , will be applied to dev database right away

Beware that you won't be able to change (insert,update,delete,create,etc) data at dev database while it is in the "readable secondary" role - only read (select)

  • as this is dev db, it should be able to be modifiable in order to make tests. But i don't want it these changes take effect on the prod. Here is my intention is to use most recent data in my dev environment.
    – MoonHorse
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 15:01
  • if you want dev to be modifiable, then you can try using geo-replication for initial copying of data prod->dev (daily), and after it completes synchronizing (copying data prod->dev), disable/turn off geo-replication. This way dev has all latest data and is same as prod, and dev becomes modifiable right after you turn off geo-replication... and these tasks should be possible to automate using t-sql or powershell Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 15:13

You can write a batch file that exports the database to BACPAC file and then imports into the dev database.

You will need sqlpackage.exe utility and sqlcmd.exe utility

The script is simple:

rem drop dev database 
sqlcmd -S myserver.database.windows.net -U username -P password -Q "DROP DATABASE [dev_database]"

rem Export production azure sql database to BACPAC file
sqlpackage.exe /TargetFile:"w:\temp\dev_db.bacpac" /Action:Export /SourceServerName:"myserver.database.windows.net" /SourceDatabaseName:"prod_database" /su:username /sp:password

rem Import bacpac file to dev database 
sqlpackage.exe /SourceFile:"w:\temp\dev_db.bacpac" /Action:Import /TargetServerName:"myserver.database.windows.net" /TargetDatabaseName:"dev_database" /tu:username /tp:password

rem change edition for dev database 
sqlcmd -S myserver.database.windows.net -U username -P password -Q "ALTER DATABASE [dev_database] MODIFY (EDITION='Basic');"


You can schedule this script in windows scheduler in your development computer.

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