Deleting a classic ClearDB MySQL database in Azure

Websites in Azure that require MySQL will be default provision them in an external service provider known as ClearDB.

This is slightly frustrating and surprising, given that MySQL can be run in Azure itself. I won’t go into how to do that as there are already a number of existing articles covering that topic.

What I could not find however was a clear and simple way to delete an existing MySQL database that was stored in ClearDB.

This is compounded further by the fact that if you created your web app using the classic Azure admin portal (ie. using manage.windowsazure.com instead of portal.azure.com) – the linked MySQL database won’t show up and therefore can’t be managed or upgraded.

The scenario is this: my TheCloudMouth.com blog site has been running for a number of years and the database had grown to capacity. Since I created it some time ago in the classic admin portal I had no way to upgrade the database as it wasn’t “connected” to my current Azure portal. I went around in loops between different processes and support cases, all to no avail. Long story short I had to create a new MySQL database in ClearDB (which I did this time through the modern Azure admin portal), migrate the database, modify the wp-config.php of my WordPress site to point to the new database, and away we went.

Unfortunately, I was still getting emails on a daily basis from ClearDB telling me that the original database was at capacity. Logging into the ClearDB portal I could not see any way to delete the database (literally, there is no delete button or any other management option).

Raising a case with ClearDB to delete the database was no help as they just kept pointing back to Microsoft as the billing source and said I had to delete it from there – which is not a possibility.

So I found a simple and quick workaround to delete the database.

What we know

When deleting a web app in the classic Azure admin portal gives you the option to delete the linked MySQL database:

If we expand the warning we see this:

What we need to do

Create a new web app with any free name:

Once it’s completed, browse to Linked Resources, then Link a resource:

Select Link an Existing Resource:

Then select MySQL Database:

Specify the database from the drop-down:

Accept the terms, press the big tick button, and linking should be completed within a few second. What you should see is something like this:

So now we can proceed with deleting the app and select the attached database:

Browsing back to your ClearDB account you should now see the “deleted” database, now with different information but most importantly a Delete button (NOTE: database in below screenshot is different from previous screenshots):

Hit that Delete button and you’re done, this whole frustrating experience with ClearDB is now behind you!

Hubs, Groups, Teams, Sites – trying to understand them all

Microsoft is releasing new features into Office 365 at an unprecedented level – and it’s taking quite a lot of effort for experts in the field to stay current on what is what, let alone customers and end users!

Historically in Office 365 we had key product workloads:

* Azure is not technically part of Office 365 but powers several of the services

Then Microsoft acquired Yammer and worked to integrate it.

Then Microsoft released Office 365 Groups (aka Outlook Groups).

Then Microsoft released Planner.

Then Microsoft released Teams.

Then Microsoft released StaffHub.

And there is more coming…

As an example, Microsoft’s latest release StaffHub utilises ALL of the above workloads, as well as the Microsoft Teams chat service (not the actual product or interface).

Where previously IT admins would need to stitch together each individual component, Office 365 Groups has surfaced as the one substrate to rule them all – and that is a very good thing which continues to improve.

While the various integrations between workloads are still being rolled out, even when they are we will be left with things like:

  • An Office 365 Group gets a SharePoint team site, BUT a SharePoint team site does not require or create an Office 365 Group
  • A Yammer group can exist on its own, BUT can also create an Office 365 Group, BUT an Office 365 Group does not create a Yammer group
  • A Microsoft Team creates its own Office 365 Group or can be connected to an existing one, BUT an Office 365 Group does not provision a Team
  • A Planner creates an Office 365 Group, BUT each channel within a Microsoft Team can have its own Planner – BUT these cannot be accessed currently from the Planner/Groups interface
  • Each Microsoft Team channel creates a new section in the OneNote within the Office 365 Group, BUT you cannot access the sections of the OneNote file that existed before the Team channel was created
  • StaffHub creates an Office 365 Group, BUT an Office 365 Group does not create a StaffHub
  • StaffHub uses the Teams chat service, BUT you cannot access the StaffHub “chat” service from the Teams interface

Clear? No? Then you’re with the rest of us. Let’s not throw in marketing spin in there like the Surface Hub – which “unlocks the power of the Group”.

The reality is that the experiences and cross-integrations are improving at a rapid pace, so while this is currently confusing it is important to remember that in the past year Office 365 has taken a huge lurch forward away from siloed product-based workloads, and towards integrated experiences and services.

It is important to remember:

  • Microsoft Teams is still in preview and is expected to move to General Availability sometime in Q1 of this calendar year (let’s assume mid/late March to be safe)
  • Yammer is currently rolling out it’s Office 365 Groups integration
  • Planner has only been available since July 2016 and is iterating rapidly
  • Office 365 Groups integration with SharePoint team sites has only just begun rolling out in production
  • StaffHub was just released to General Availability in the past week

So strap in and hold on, it’s a wild ride!

However, on a serious note: while the pace of change is fast and not everything works the way we want – in some instances we need to be patient and wait for integrations or rollouts to finish. In other instances, ensure that we wrap customers and end-users with a big blanket of change management and hand-holding to get the greatest chance of successful adoption, actual productivity improvement and ultimately user satisfaction.

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