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SQL Server 2000 Continues Microsoft’s Enterprise Push

SQL Server 2000 is Microsoft Corp.’s latest version of its flagship relational database management system offering. The long awaited follow-up to SQL Server 7.0 was released to manufacturing on August 7.

While SQL Server will continue in its role as the anchor of the BackOffice suite in smaller businesses, Microsoft made enhancements in SQL Server 2000 to push further into competition with Oracle and IBM for large database accounts, a move the company started with SQL Server 7.0.

After SQL Server 6.5 came out, the RDBMS underwent a radical code redesign and the product that emerged from it is what we know now as version 7.0. While SQL Server 2000 -- originally known by the codename “Shiloh” -- has not gone through such a noticeable revamp, Microsoft’s present offering does include major changes.

Much of the buzz on SQL Server 2000 surrounds its new XML capabilities. The product can now get XML messages out of relational data, provide XML views to relational data tables, provide relational data views on XML data, and offers XML updating. Since SQL Server 2000 is such a big part of Microsoft’s e-commerce strategy and .NET, it will also feature support for the BizTalk XML framework, as well as for the BizTalk Server 2000.

 Looking to simplify the data mining and OLAP process, Microsoft has integrated those services with the database – these will now be known as Analysis Services.  The company also wanted to improve the product’s overall ease of use. To do that, Microsoft added multi-instancing of the database, and full-text search and English query features.

SQL Server 2000 is also offering a slew of other newbies, including a core relational engine, core storage engine, replication, and data mining.

Microsoft also introduced a controversial scalability clustering mechanism in SQL Server 2000 called Distributed Partition Views. The feature allows very large databases to be built in pieces on a number of standard servers.

Microsoft leapfrogged to the head of the Transaction Processing Performance Council’s OLTP benchmark (www.tpc.org) using the technique on beta code of SQL Server 2000. While the results were later recalled on a technicality, Microsoft rewrote the code to address the concerns and reposted its results. Some industry observers contend the distributed approach is an overly complex method for building large databases that real-world database administrators would not use.

Users can also look for large and smaller versions of the database in the months to come. Microsoft is working on SQL Server 2000 version for 64-bit computing and one for Windows CE. – Alicia Costanza

For Microsoft’s overview of SQL Server 2000, see www.microsoft.com/sql.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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