So far, the blogs were about the really SaaS databases; the database is deployed and you don’t have think about it anymore. This ease of use comes at a ‘price’. You’ve got no control whatsoever on files, you’ve lost the SQL Agent and a number of other features. The managed instance is a bit different. When I was testing you could see the TempDB files but not change them, since then a few changes have been made to this tier where you’re able to change settings and, Niko Neugebauer told the data community on twitter, there are more changes coming. With the managed instance, you get the agent back and you can run cross database query’s again. So you can safely say the managed instance is a hybrid between your trusty on-premises server and the fully managed Azure SQL database.
Click through for Reitse’s thoughts.