Microsoft Corp. is slated to roll-out a slew of new .NET server applications Sept. 26 in conjunction with the unveiling of its long-awaited Windows 2000 Datacenter Server. One of these applications is SQL server 2000. Despite the “official” launch date, we already know much about the database application. SQL Server 2000 has been deployed by several customers in bleeding-edge environment.
Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) is positioning SQL Server 2000 – the first of its .NET enterprise server products – as the data management and analysis backbone of its .NET product and services family.
As part of its Rapid Deployment Program, Microsoft expects more than 100enterprise customers will roll out SQL Server 2000 over the next three month, but some enterprise customers have been running SQL Server 2000 – in both beta and release candidate incarnations – for as long as six months.
These customers are giving Microsoft’s next-generation database platform excellent marks.
“We started out using SQL Server 7.0, and then of course the SQL Server 2000 Beta 2 was pretty stable so we immediately switched over to that,” says Usama Fayyad, president and CEO of digiMine Inc. (www.digiMine.com), a venture that designs, builds, and hosts data warehouses for enterprise customers.
“I did not see much of a difference between the beta and the final product, which I think says a lot about Microsoft and about the SQL Server team: They understand that they’re working with a crucial product and that the differences between the beta and the RTM should be just tightening things up and fixing things,” Fayyad says.
DigiMine pulls enterprise data – such as Web logs, SQL Server transactions data, and user profiles – over the wire at night and then uses SQL Server 2000’s data mining and OLAP services to analyze it and prepare reports for its customers by the next morning. DigiMine has been running on SQL Server 2000 for several months.
Data Return Corp. (www.datareturn.com), an application service provider (ASP) and Web hosting outfit, has had SQL Server 2000 deployed in production environments since February. According to Troy Garrison, program manager of e-commerce technology at Data Return, the company’s customers are excited about the features and performance of SQL Server 2000.
“Customers are very, very excited about SQL Server 2000. And because we’re part of Microsoft’s rapid deployment and early adopter programs, we find that we already have customers lining up for it,” Garrison says. “SQL Server 2000 is very much anticipated, and it’s helped that customers have been able to work with it early on. The anticipation has been building up.”
Jason Lockhead, Data Return’s CEO, echoes digiMine’s Fayyad in saying that SQL Server 2000’s beta process was relatively smooth.
“Every time I’ve worker with the SQL team, their betas have been excellent,” Lockhead says. “We experienced nothing out of the ordinary in the beta process, and as a matter of fact it’s been really solid since the very early betas.”
The SQL Server 2000 launch and the launch of the other .NET products probably couldn’t have come at a better time for Microsoft. For all the fanfare surrounding its release, Windows 2000 has been idling for the past six months because it lacked a suite of server applications that we specifically designed to take advantage of its new features and performance.
According to Dan Kisnetzky, program vice president, system software, at IDC (www.idc.com), most customers had put their Windows 2000 deployments on hold while they waited for Microsoft to ship various components of the .NET infrastructure – formerly BackOffice – particularly SQL Server 2000 and Exchange 2000.
But now that the wait is over, Mike Schiff, director of data warehousing strategies at Current Analysis Inc. (www.currentanalysis.com), says SQL Server 2000 appears poised to build upon the example of its predecessor, the highly successful SQL Server 7.0.
“With SQL Server 7.0 they became a real database, that is, a database that could actually be deployed in production environments,” Schiff explains. “(SQL Server) 6.5 did not have true row-level locking, and it just wasn’t a production-ready business database. But (SQL Server) 7.0 put them in the game where they no longer had a product that their competitors could easily dismiss as a toy. I can only believe that (SQL Server) 2000 will be even more competitive.”
By: Stephen Swoyer
Source: ent Online