Microsoft Corporation announced this week that it has released SQL Server 2000 to manufacturing, following an Early Adopter Program that had a select group of customers use the server on production sites over the past six months. Additionally, over 100 enterprise customers will go live on SQL Server 2000 within three months as part of the Rapid Deployment Program (RDP), giving the product an unprecedented level of customer commitment. As the first .NET server product, SQL Server 2000 will supply the back-end data management solution for an upcoming wave of Web-enabled applications and services. Microsoft plans to publicly release the product on September 26, 2000 at a .NET Enterprise event that will also include Exchange 2000, Commerce Server 2000, BizTalk Server, and Application Center Server. "SQL Server 2000 has received unprecedented quality-assurance testing," says Paul Flessner, the vice president of .NET enterprise servers at Microsoft. "We have worked with tens of thousands of beta customers; we have been running two of the top 10 Internet retailers in production for over three months; we have 20 other customers running their mission-critical business operations on SQL Server 2000; and Microsoft has been running all its own critical business operations on SQL Server 2000 for more than six months. This product is ready to go, and we will continue to invest resources to ensure that quality improves with every release of Microsoft SQL Server." SQL Server 2000 includes a number of new features aimed at improving the scalability, reliability, and Web integration of the product. Two-way XML support allows SQL Server 2000 to store and retrieve XML data and work with it natively. And a new data-mining feature can detect subtle trends in large blocks of data. SQL Server 2000 includes personal, desktop, developer, and enterprise versions, as well as a new version for Windows CE that will ship later this fall.