We're proud to say it's been 5 years since we started SQL Server Magazine. And, oh, how the SQL Server world has changed. We launched the magazine in March 1999, following the release of SQL Server 7.0. At the time, the industry considered SQL Server a departmental database, not quite ready for the enterprise. And the Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) benchmark numbers backed up this perception: Oracle sat atop the scalability scores, with SQL Server struggling to break into the top 10. An important aspect of our early coverage was showing how SQL Server 7.0 was equipped for mission-critical, company-wide implementations and helping you make the best use of its new features.

Times have changed. Now, SQL Server 2000 is arguably the premier database platform available today. There's no doubt about SQL Server's enterprise scalability, as proven by the success of such high-profile customers as AT&T, Barnes & Noble, CompUSA, Dell, NASDAQ.com, Qwest Communications, Turner Broadcasting, and many others. Microsoft's own 5TB TerraServer SQL Server database demonstrates incredible scalability, and the TPC numbers support SQL Server's powerful enterprise story. SQL Server has claimed the number one spot in both the TPC-C clustered and nonclustered categories at various times. And although Oracle's new 10g product has knocked SQL Server off the TPC-C peak for now, Oracle is competing with a SQL Server release that's 4 years old. The upcoming SQL Server Yukon release will undoubtedly upset the TPC-C rankings again.

We've witnessed tremendous changes in SQL Server over the past 5 years, and SQL Server Magazine is undergoing a few changes as well. Beginning with this issue, we're fine-tuning our editorial coverage to help you keep up with and master every area of SQL Server. For starters, we're organizing the magazine into three core sections: Development, Administration, and Business Intelligence. The Administration section will continue to bring you state-of-the-art information and best practices in the vital areas of SQL Server security, performance tuning, and database design. We also have a renewed focus for the database and application developer and will be providing more hands-on coverage of ADO.NET, Web services, and the tighter integration between Microsoft .NET and SQL Server Yukon. In addition, we're beefing up our business intelligence (BI) coverage, featuring more articles on Analysis Services' OLAP and data-mining functions, Reporting Services, and Data Transformation Services (DTS).

But some things will never change. Like you, our authors and technical editors work with SQL Server every day. And our overarching goal is still to help you do your job better. We do that by providing a unique blend of real-world, how-to articles along with the strategic coverage of new database technologies, product reviews, and news analysis you need to make the best choices for your organization. And to make sure we provide the best solutions possible, we'll continue to put everything we publish through a rigorous editorial process in which we verify all the technical explanations, test all the code, and edit the text for accuracy and readability. We've had a great time putting out SQL Server Magazine for the past 5 years, and we look forward to bringing you the best independent coverage of the SQL Server universe for the next 5 years and beyond.