Feeds

MS SQL Server man lets betas have it

CTP or bust

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

With the first service pack for SQL 2005 Server due in the next two weeks, Microsoft has been laying down the law on future development plans for the database.

In short, that means no return to beta editions for new versions of its database and regular product updates every two- to two-and-a-half years, according to the vice president of Microsoft's server applications group. Paul Flessner was speaking after Microsoft last week outlined four key themes for investment in the SQL Server roadmap, that included a re-branded edition of SQL Server Mobile Edition called SQL Server Everywhere Edition due later this year.

According to Flessner, investments in SQL Server will now focus on availability and automation, going beyond storage of purely relational data, synchronization, and end-to-end insight. As such, SQL Server Everywhere Edition is promised as a small footprint, client - not merely mobile device - database that can store data locally and replicate with server-side editions of SQL Server when an online connection is resumed. The first community technology preview (CTP) is due this summer.

In many ways, Microsoft is late to the game with SQL Server Everywhere Edition. IBM helped feed today's growing demand for light-weight, client-side databases when it open sourced its Cloudscape database to the Apache community as Project Derby in 2004. Oracle, meanwhile, this year bought Sleepycat to add a popular, small footprint, embedded alternative to its existing enterprise database line.

IBM has also been setting the trend in others areas. The up-coming edition of DB2 codenamed Viper is slated to become the industry's first database with native support for XML. Viper will allow users to store, search and retrieve unstructured data - in addition to structured data - for use in business analytics, without breaking the XML data down into rows or columns, a move that slows performance and causes a loss in the fidelity of data. IBM believes 35 per cent of business data is currently stored in an unstructured XML format.

IBM has been releasing full versions of DB2 roughly every two years. Flessner, though, last week dismissed IBM's track record saying the company had issued what he considered to be "feature updates."

Flessner appears to be placing his faith in plans to deliver updates of SQL Server every two- to two-and-a-half years. A key part of that is to streamline delivery of SQL Server using small, feature-specific CTPs instead of bigger code drops epitomized by the beta process. SQL Server was one of the first Microsoft products to adopt the CTP approach, an approach now spreading across other Microsoft groups, even though the CTP approach didn't avert delays to SQL Server 2005. The database finally shipped last November, more than four years after its predecessor.

"I'm convinced we can do it," Flessner said of the new delivery cycle. "The key is keeping the main product build stable. The CTP is the key. The beta process was very large, but the CTP is much smaller. As long as I'm in charge of SQL Server, we will never go back to betas."®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.