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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.

SQL Azure Under the Hood
Chris Rolon gives a look under the hood of Microsoft SQL Azure to see how it was constructed.
Scaling Out with SQL Azure
This article from the TechNet Wiki gives an IT Pro view of building SQL Azure deployments.
How Do I: Calculate the Cost of Azure Database Usage? (Video)
Max Adams walks through the process of calculating real-world SQL Azure costs.
Comparing SQL Server with SQL Azure
This TechNet Wiki article covers the differences between on-premise SQL Server and SQL Azure.
Getting Started with SQL Azure
This Microsoft training kit comes with all the tools and instructions needed to begin working with SQL Azure.

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