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Microsoft
First published on MSDN on Apr 09, 2016
JSON functionalities that are added in SQL Server 2016 are also available in Azure SQL Database see Public preview: JSON in Azure SQL Database . All functionalities that you can use in SQL Server 2016 RC (i.e. FOR JSON, OPENJSON, built-in functions) are also available in Azure SQL Database, including JSON_MODIFY function that is added in RC version.

JSON is available in all service tiers (basic, standard, and premium) but only in new SQL Database V12 . We don't have plans to support it in older versions, since we expect that everyone will migrate to new V12. If your JSON functions do not work, please check version using SELECT @@version.

Also, OPENJSON function requires database compatibility level 130 . If all functions work except OPENJSON, you would need to set the latest compatibility level in database. Note that level 120 is set by default even in new databases.