SQL Server 2005 has had a little time to stand on its own two feet as a shipping product. Now, wider computer industry media opinions are starting to come in and the opinions are quite favorable.
I read quite a lot in the media. So I thought I'd share some of the opinions I've encountered and some of the most salient points that these writers make.
Today, I'll start with the print magazine InfoWorld. I've been a subscriber since, well, since before it was called InfoWorld. In the January 16th issue, contributing editor (and frequent contributor for PASS) Sean McCown wrote the cover page story called "SQL Server Beefs Up". You can read it at http://weblog.infoworld.com/article/06/01/16/73517_03FEsql_1.html if you don't have a print subscription. Sean carefully points out where SQL Server 2005 excels and, something I approve of greatly, also points out areas where the product can still use improvements.
As an aside - Sean, who's also not afraid of controversy, keeps a blog called Database Underground (http://weblog.infoworld.com/dbunderground/). I like Sean's blog because it doesn't just point out useful tidbits, it also voices a lot of opinion. There are not too many SQL Server blogs out there that do that.
A couple other points came out in the January 16th issue of InfoWorld. Editor in chief Steve Fox provided an interesting interview with Sean McCown which might well leave open source fans steaming. McCown's unvarnished opinion is that open source databases, while useful in certain scenarios, aren't ready for prime time. Read more about Sean's opinion at http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/01/16/73777_03OPeditor_1.html.
Finally, long-time technology contributor Tom Yager commented on the growing integration of the Microsoft stack through SQL Server, Visual Studio, and the Windows OS. Tom contrasts the Microsoft theme for SQL Server 2005 of "better together" (also translated as "lock yourself in, you'll love it") with enterprises built around Unix-based technologies. Tom's main point, which is a very good one IMO, is that Microsoft has got much better at using its own tools internally and thereby building in even better feedback loops. Consequently, SQL Server is a much better "reality based" technology than ever before. "Enlightenment," as Tom says, "comes from the inside".
Have you had a chance to deploy SQL Server 2005? I'm very interested to hear your feedback. Have you migrated from SQL Server 2000 (or 7.0) or merely deployed a new application directly on to SQL Server 2005. Send your feedback to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.