While I love Northwind, would do anything for Northwind, I realize that there really is not enough data in Northwind for meaningful demos. We’ve been using Northwind for 15+ years and the reason why we have not completely abandoned Northwind is because AdventureWorks is such crap. Someone at Microsoft took a relational pill one day and over relationalized AdventureWorks to 100th normal form. It takes about 7 joins to get a list of unique customers and their mailing addresses. Microsoft has admitted their mistake and given us “AdventureWorks Lite” a slimmed down version of AdventureWorks with less joins and less pain in the you know what. (Only 3 joins to get the customers and their mailing addresses.) In addition to ADLite, Microsoft has also given us a data warehouse version of AdventureWorks in star schema for BI testing called AdventureWorksDW.
You can now easily load these databases into SQL Azure. The databases were released on CodePlex along with a loading script that you have to run from the commandline. Be careful, the Datawarehouse database is larger and can cause a timeout on a slow connection, forcing you to do it over again.