You may have already seen this in other sources, such as the SQLMag update newsletter. If you don't already subscribe to it, I highly recommend it. However, I was recently speaking with Kristan Waters, who does PR for SQL Server. She had told me:
The SQL Server team announced the release of the SQL Server 2005 JDBC Driver (Java DataBase Connectivity) as part of Microsoft’s commitment to interoperability. Available at no additional charge to SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 users, this technology provides the Java community with access to the complete data management and analysis platform and enables Java/J2EE applications on any platform to interoperate with SQL Server. The tool also provides ISVs with the tools and dedicated support they need to build and redistribute SQL Server 2005 programs.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
The SQL Server 2005 JDBC driver is available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=e22bc83b-32ff-4474-a44a-22b6ae2c4e17&displaylang=en.
This is important and pertinent to me because I talk to many people in the field who work with some pretty strange combinations, such as Java against SQL Server or .NET against Oracle. This new release should be very helpful to shops like these.
Let me know if you find this useful.