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How to Build and Manage a Business Database Application on SQL Azure

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Faced with the need to create a business database, most people think "small database" they think of Microsoft Access. They might also add SQL Server Express edition or, perhaps, SQL Server Standard edition, to an Access implementation to provide users with relational features.

What all these solutions have in common is that they run on-premises -- and therefore require a server to run on, a file location to live in, license management and a back-up and recovery strategy.

A new alternative to these approaches to the on-premises database is SQL Azure, which delivers the power of SQL Server without the on-premises costs and requirements.

Microsoft SQL Azure Database is a secure relational database service based on proven SQL Server technologies. The difference is that it is a fully managed cloud database, offered as a service, running in Microsoft datacenters around the globe. It is highly scalable, with built in high-availability and fault tolerance, giving you the ability to start small or serve a global customer base immediately.
The resources on this page will help you get an understanding of using SQL Azure as an alternative database solution to Access or SQL Express.

Try SQL Azure 1GB Edition for no charge
Start out with SQL Azure at no cost, then upgrade to a paid plan that fits your operational needs.
Developing and Deploying with SQL Azure
Get guidelines on how to migrate an existing on-premises SQL Server database into SQL Azure. It also discusses best practices related to data migration.
Walkthrough of Window Azure Sync Service
This TechNet Wiki article explains how to use Sync Services to provide access to, while isolating, your SQL Azure database from remote users.
SQL Azure Migration Tool v.3.4
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