Now that SQL Server 2005 has shipped, are you going to abandon all the SQL Server 2000 users who still rely on that platform for their production databases?

Absolutely! Who wants to write about old technology when there's new stuff to play with? All you legacy SQL Server 2000 professionals are on your own from now on. Just kidding. I learned my lesson about this topic many years ago, when SQL Server 7.0 first shipped. For the first few months after the product launch, my column was devoted exclusively to SQL Server 7.0, with no prior platform coverage. Unfortunately, Windows IT Pro has a 3-month lead time from the time I write an article until it's published, so it took me a few months to realize that readers didn't like that approach.

So here's what my column will probably look like over the next few months: For the first few months, I'll devote no more than 50 percent of the column to SQL Server 2005. Sometimes, like this month, the coverage will be skewed toward SQL Server 2005. But don't worry; I won't forget that for months to come most users will be running their production servers on SQL Server 2000. I'll pay close attention to reader comments as I change the rate at which I concentrate more and more on SQL Server 2005. Don't be afraid to let me know what you think about the mix. Feel free to send any question you have directly to sqlsavvy@sqlmag.com.

The SQL Server 2005 coverage will tend to be basic to intermediate for a short period of time because the product is new, and my SQL Server 2000 coverage will quickly begin to concentrate exclusively on advanced SQL Server 2000 topics. I know that some of you have been playing around with the SQL Server 2005 Community Technical Previews (CTPs) and beta releases for months—in some cases, years. This month's column isn't for you. Instead, I'm concentrating on what I think is the large number of you who simply didn't have time to worry about a new release until it was actually out and close to affecting your jobs. My hope is to give you a leg up by answering some basic questions and offering simple tips to help you find your way around the new product as you play, learn, and explore in anticipation of a SQL Server 2005 rollout at your organization.