This post comes from Russell Sinclair who is in New Orleans showing off the newest Access 2010 features at TechEd.

Microsoft SQL Azure is a new cloud-based relational database built on SQL Server that provides highly available, scalable, multi-tenant database services hosted by Microsoft in the cloud. It eliminates the need to install, setup and manage SQL Server, freeing IT to handle day-to-day operations rather than having to manage and maintain an on-premise server. It also enables access to the database from any location with an internet connection, providing the ability to create connected applications that are accessible from anywhere.

Access 2010 supports connections to SQL Azure over ODBC, opening up opportunities for Access users and technology providers to create rich experiences using cloud computing. For Information Workers, this gives an easy way to connect directly from Access to cloud-based relational databases, enabling ease of use and providing flexibility to IT. Access users now have more choices to integrate rich client-server applications that can connect directly to both on-premise or cloud databases, creating unique and agile solutions.