After a handful of rather controversial delays in the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Yukon shipping schedule, most conversations about when Microsoft will eventually ship SQL Server 2005 is met with some degree of eye rolling.  <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

I have a much more forgiving attitude.  My experience is that most people seem to think that the SQL Server team has had five years to work on Yukon.  But my personal In a Nutshell chronology includes about two years of side trips into the world of security.  Remember Code Red?  Remember SQL Slammer?  Well, the SQL Server team, and all of Microsoft development for that matter, was forced by the tyranny of the urgent to do a full line-by-line walk through of all of their code in search of security vulnerabilities.  An investment of time and energy like that boggles my mind. 

 

But security aside, I’m very impressed that the SQL Server team has gotten as far as they have in the amount of time they’ve had.  If you spend a moment looking at the list of features described at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/2005/productinfo/top30features.asp, you’ll see that Microsoft is pursuing no less than 30 very big features for the next release.  That is a –huge– number of innovations for any single product, even one as versatile and popular as SQL Server. 

 

Not only are the sheer number of features impressive, but they fall into very different categories:

 

  • Business Intelligence – highlighted by the complete ground-up reconstruction of DTS (now called SQL Server Information Integration Server or something like that)

  • Database Administration – whose most salient new tool is the Visual Studio-base SQL Server Management Studio

  • Development – that now pulls in .NET languages into the SQL Server engine under the CLR (Common Language Runtime)

This broad assortment of categories means that each team has to go in different directions to meet the needs of different audiences.  Read – very different testing, customer validation, and intellectual capital needs. 

 

Being in the software business myself, I know a little about shipping software.  In fact, we’ve just announced the newest version of our SQL Server performance tuning tools (http://www.quest.com/news/show.asp?ContentId=1072&ContentTypeId=2&site=).  I’ll talk about our Quest's newest SQL Server products in a future blog entry.

 

But for now, every time someone rolls their eyes about the SQL Server 2005 ship date, I stick up for the crew in Redmond.  This is no small task that Microsoft has embarked on and, if my beta testing continues in the same fashion it has so far, this will be a release where Microsoft will never have to say “I’m sorry”.

 

-Posted by Kevin Kline