In this episode of Lessons Learned I chat with Rex Hansen of ESRI. Rex works on MapIt; a product for visualizing enterprise data on maps. This was recently released as a on-premises product that enables developers to work with the tabular and spatial data in SQL Server 2008 and integrate that data with maps on ArcGIS online and Bing Maps.
ESRI has been working to extend that functionality to Windows Azure and SQL Azure. MapIt takes advantage of SQL Azure to consume location-based data. The MapIt spatial data service can be deployed as a role on Windows Azure and provides spatial data capabilities to applications using SQL Azure. This provides a valuable service to folks that miss the spatial data types they were used to using in SQL Server.
Rex walked me through building a Silverlight application with their Silverlight Control Toolkit in Expression Blend. As Rex mentions in the video ESRI has released the source code for their Silverlight toolkit controls. You can find those on CodePlex here: http://ESRISilverlight.codeplex.com/
It sounds like ESRI has some big plans for where they want to take the MapIt product to provide even better integration with SQL Azure.
You can find out more about the ESRI MapIt product here.