Although it hardly seems possible, the February issue marks the tenth anniversary of SQL Server Magazine. As you long-time readers will remember, we launched SQL Server Magazine in the SQL Server 7.0 timeframe. It’s certainly no exaggeration to say that a lot has happened between then and now. Back in 1998, SQL Server was a distant third in the enterprise database market and was regarded as a small-scale departmental database—easy to use but not ready for the enterprise. How things have changed.

SQL Server 7.0: Re-Architecture

The release of SQL Server 7.0 marked the ascension of SQL Server into the enterprise. SQL Server 7.0 was a revolutionary release for SQL Server. Microsoft brought in a core group of experienced database designers who rewrote the old Sybase code that was the basis of the previous releases of SQL Server. As David Campbell, Microsoft Technical Fellow in the Data and Platform division, said last year, “A bunch of us came to Microsoft from different database experiences: We had guys who worked on IBM DB2, Tandem, Oracle, Sybase, Informix. We landed at Microsoft in 1994, 1995, and 1996, and we started the effort to re-architect SQL Server. The first version was SQL Server 7.0.” The new code base gave SQL Server 7 the enterprise scalability that previous versions lacked, and combined with the innovative idea of including business intelligence (BI) capabilities in the form of OLAP Services, catapulted SQL Server to the front of BI industry.

SQL Server 2000: Evolution

Released in September of 2000, SQL Server 2000 was an evolutionary release. OLAP Services became Analysis Services (SSAS) and Microsoft added data mining. In addition, Microsoft added support for multiple instances, federated servers, and distributed partitioned views. The SQL Server team took its first steps along the path toward XML integration with support for XML Views and OPENXML. SQL Server 2000 firmly established SQL Server as an enterprise player.

SQL Server 2005: The BI Revolution

Five years later, Microsoft released SQL Server 2005, which could have been called the BI release. All of SQL Server’s BI functionality benefited from upgrades. DTS was replaced by the new enterprise-capable SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) was revamped with the new Unified Dimensional Model. In addition, SQL Server 2005 added support for SQL Server CLR, a native XML data type and a new VARBINARY(MAX) data type for large object (LOB) storage. The new SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and Service Broker subsystems were also added. Without a doubt the most important element, SSRS was embraced by businesses everywhere.

SQL Server 2008: The Database Platform

The release of SQL Server 2008 marked SQL Server's transition from a relational database to an enterprise data platform. Launched in February of 2008 but actually released to manufacturing in August 2008, SQL Server 2008 moved to make database data available throughout the enterprise. For improved management, Microsoft added the Resource Governor, policy-based management, and database compression. The addition of transparent database encryption improved security. For development, SQL Server 2008 has LINQ, the .NET Entity Framework, spatial data types, and FILESTREAM support. For BI there are all-new cube and dimension designers, as well as a Report Builder and Microsoft Office integration. Feature-wise SQL Server 2008 is a leader in the database market.

Nonstop Passion for SQL Server

Here at SQL Server Magazine we’ve had the pleasure of covering all these developments over the past ten years. I know I speak for everyone at the magazine when I say that we’re fortunate and proud to work with the best SQL Server expert authors in the industry. Our editors and contributing writers are dedicated to serving the needs of the SQL Server community and providing the best independent technical SQL Server information available. Following SQL Server for the last ten years has been a terrific ride. We all know that SQL Server is the greatest database around and that the best is yet to come.