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Beta 3, RTM Schedules Stand for SQL Server 2005

After having taken nearly every opportunity so far to push back the release schedule for SQL Server 2005, formerly known as "Yukon," Microsoft is allowing its SQL Server PASS Community Summit to pass without disclosing a new delay.

"Our current plans are that we will RTM first half of 2005," SQL Server senior product manager Alex Payne said this week. Microsoft is holding its annual SQL Server users' conference in Orlando, Fla. "We are shooting for the end of this year for Beta 3 to be available," said Payne, who added the standard caveats about beta and RTM schedules depending completely on customer and partner feedback.

That timetable is the same as the one Microsoft unveiled in March when it formally named the Yukon database project SQL Server 2005. At the time, the database was expected to be available in late 2004. At one time "Yukon" had been planned for a late 2003 delivery.

As was the case in March, Microsoft continues to cite an RTM, or release to manufacturing, date as the target for the first half of 2005. That leaves the company wiggle room on general availability, which usually follows RTM by a month or more.

In March, Microsoft attributed the delay to a need to ensure adequate testing of the new version, which is a massive overhaul of Microsoft's flagship database technology. Product managers said there was no technical hurdle slowing the project down.

At the same time, the SQL Server team no longer finds itself tied to the "Longhorn" client operating system. Microsoft disclosed last month that it was no longer planning to include the WinFS file system in the initial version of Longhorn. Determining whether WinFS was having an effect on the SQL Server "Yukon" delivery schedule was difficult, however.

Changing architectural requirements in Longhorn could have reached back to Yukon, but Longhorn appeared to be more dependent on Yukon than the other way around. In any case, Microsoft officials said a separate team, led by Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Peter Spiro, was developing the WinFS technology from a SQL Server foundation that was independent of the Yukon effort.

About the Author

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

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