There are lots of neat things happening here in Barcelona this year.  For starters, Spain is a beautiful place and well worth visiting.  On top of that, we have an exciting educational opportunity going on at the conference and a great chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

On Tuesday, I was able to catch up with Haydn Richardson.  Haydn is a senior marketing manager in the SQL Server marketing team.  Haydn was telling me that SQL Server 2005 is now SAP Certified.  From the SAP press room:

SAP is ready for SQL Server 2005. On January 20, 2006, less than two months after SQL Server 2005 general availability, SAP released customer <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />OSS note #905634, updating its support status for SQL Server. This note, available on the SAP Web site, states that "Our current test status and the positive feedback from our early production customers allow us ... to support SQL \[Server\] 2005 for all types of SAP systems, including production systems.”…”The Windows platforms include x86, IA-64, and x64.”<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

It is interesting to note that Oracle R2, and RAC, don’t have a similar note by SAP.  What I am seeing on an almost daily basis is that very large customers that never considered SQL Server are now migrating to it. The key benefits, evidently, are that it performs as well as all the other databases, but is easier to operate and maintain, and has a significant cost advantage. The key drivers for the cost advantage are the lower initial db license cost, lower db maintenance yearly cost, pricing per CPU (not per core) for all db versions, no cost for hot standby/backup databases and multicore chips, and utilization of standard commodity hardware. 

A secondary but, in my opinion, equally important consideration is that the SQL Server licensing costs are just a bit below the competition UNTIL you add in features like BI, replication, and all of the bolt-ons that are common with databases.  Adding in all of these features grossly bloats the price of competing database platforms, while SQL Server's price remains unchanged.

Are you upgrading or migrating to SQL Server 2005?  If so, I'd love to hear about your preparationg and your experiences.  Easy, hard, or somewhere in between?

Cheers,

-Kevin