James has dabbled in programming and databases for more than half his life. Accidentally falling into a SQL Server DBA role in 2010, he decided to focus on SQL Server and followed the conventional path of being concerned about backing it up, making it secure, what goes where and the all important go faster stripes. It was only after deploying a very large change to a very large and live migration project, losing countless hours of sleep, and almost bringing a 24/7 web site to its knees, that he realised none of this really mattered if one could not deliver code efficiently in a manner that was easy to reason about.    

James consults at SABIN LTD and currently focuses on working with and educating DBA, data and software engineering teams to promote better communication and engineering practice, with the goal of delivering peer reviewed, tested, and reliable automated delivery for all data change.

James is an organiser of the London SQL Supper user group and is an occasional speaker at SQL related meetups in London. He volunteers at his kid's local Primary School teaching 9-11 year olds, loosely following the codeclub.org.uk syllabus.


Focusing on the micro-service / OLTP domain, this talk approaches the challenge of choosing between Azure SQL Database and Cosmos Db (Document Db) by using solution use cases to test each storage's offering for appropriateness.