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SQL Server 2005 Queues up For Prime Time

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Microsoft showed some ankle and then some with advanced tools, database and server features in the latest builds of SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006.

Microsoft said all three flagship products are slated to be formally launched the week of Nov. 7.

During the keynote address at the TechEd conference here, Paul Flessner, senior vice president of server applications at Microsoft, helped launch the first public Community Technology Preview (CTP) for SQL Server 2005. He also demonstrated RFID embedding features in Visual Studio 2005.

Loaded with mission-critical features, such as mirroring functions, database snapshots and deeper levels of encryption, the latest version of SQL Server 2005 has Microsoft positioning the database application for a major new role in enterprise data centers, a realm dominated by IBM, Oracle and other major database vendors.

”We think SQL Server is ready for prime time as a top-tier database in major enterprise functions,” said Flessner.

During a demo, Flessner noted new features such as database mirroring, which enables a system administrator to commit data on a main server, as well as a backup server.

High availability is one of the top features Microsoft is deploying in its plan to bring SQL Server 2005 into major enterprises.

”Not only for database failover but for application failover,” Tom Rizzo, a director in the SQL Server division, told ”We made it at commodity pricing that’s easy to implement, simple and at a low cost, so you don’t have to pay for high-availability solutions.”

Also among the security enhancements is native data encryption, which enterprises would normally build for themselves or buy add-ons, Rizzo said. The latest version offers the native data encryption for all customers.

”We think we’re there,” with SQL Server 2005’s high availability features, Flessner said during his address, noting that the database encryption feature goes all the way down to the column manual.

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