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Microsoft Gets REAL with Partners on SQL Server 2005

With the launch of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 coming in November, the Redmond software giant has formalized the implementation guidance and marketing support it will provide to its partners and customers. The support comes in the form of two initiatives, Project REAL and SQL Server Front Runner, both highlighted by Bill Baker, Microsoft general manager of business intelligence, during a keynote at the 2005 Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) conference in Grapevine, Texas.

Project REAL, is a set best practice guidelines for implementing SQL Server 2005 in a business intelligence scenario. The idea behind it is to use the guidelines against a real, live customer production system. Dave Wickert of the SQL BI Product Unit at Microsoft demonstrated Project REAL during a PASS pre-conference workshop, with his team taking a live, 2TB data warehouse from Barnes & Noble and reimplementing it under SQL Server 2005. The Project REAL team plans to provide more demos at upcoming events.

SQL Server Front Runner is the other initiative, aimed at U.S.-based ISVs who plan on becoming SQL Server 2005 early adopters. The program will provide ISVs who qualify for the program with BetaOne Services, which gives the partner 10 hours of prelaunch support, including assistance in building SQL Server 2005-based applications. Also, Microsoft will provide a VeriTest application voucher that can be used to authenticate the partner's application.

Partners can also take advantage of Marketing Services for partners, which provides help in producing marketing collateral and press releases that highlight the partner's Front Runner status. For the first 200 qualifying partners who sign an ISV Royalty license agreement, Microsoft will also give $5,000 in funding for marketing.

For more on Project REAL, click here; to find out more about Front Runner, click here.

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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