SQL Server 2005 SP1 Due in a Couple Weeks
Published: April 12, 2006
by Alex Woodie
Microsoft's new database, SQL Server 2005, has been on the shelves for just a couple of months, but by the end of April, the first service pack should be available. SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 1 (SP1) will add support for mirroring, a crucial ingredient in high availability environments, as well as a set of scaled-down management tools called SQL Server 2005 Management Studio Express. Company officials also recently disclosed plans to build an embedded version of its database.
Microsoft is planning to ship the SP1 version of SQL Server 2005 by the end of the month, according to an April 6 letter that Microsoft senior vice president Paul Flessner, wrote to customers (you can read the letter at www.microsoft.com/sql/letter.mspx).
SQL Server 2005 SP1, which is currently in the community technology preview (CTP) stage of development, will include new resiliency capabilities, which Microsoft calls "AlwaysOn Technologies." These capabilities will include database mirroring, failover clustering, database snapshots, and enhanced online operations, Flessner says. "You can certainly expect us to invest significantly in expanding this list in upcoming releases," he says.
SQL Server 2005 SP1 will also include new management and monitoring capabilities through a component called SQL Server 2005 Management Studio Express, or SSMSE. . This graphical tool can be used to manage SQL Server 2005 Express Edition and SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with Advanced Services instances, the company says. However, SSMSE can also manage relational engine instances created by any edition of SQL Server 2005. SSMSE cannot manage Analysis Services, Integration Services, SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition, Notification Services, Reporting Services, or SQL Server Agent.
Flessner also committed to delivering a new version of SQL Server every 24 to 36 months, a faster release cycle than we have seen from the SQL Server development team in the past. The next release of SQL Server, due in the 2007 to 2008 timeframe, is reportedly codenamed "Katmai."
SQL Server Everywhere Edition
In his letter, Flessner also shared his views on the future of data storage and how Microsoft will approach "the coming data explosion." This explosion, Flessner says, will result when users need to store all types of data, including XML, RFID, e-mail, time and calendar info, documents, and spatial data, he says. This desire will be fueled by improving storage technologies and dropping prices.
While a terabyte (1,000 GB) of storage today costs around $1,000, the time is not far off when 1TB of data costs only $100, Flessner writes. In fact, he said it could be as soon as next year. In 20 years, everything will be stored digitally, and a petabyte (1,000 TB) could be the standard unit of measuring storage capacity.
Obviously, Microsoft wants to sell the software that lets users store, access, integrate, and analyze all types of data. This was the lead-in to a new release of Microsoft's database called SQL Server Everywhere Edition (formerly the Mobile edition of SQL Server).
SQL Server Everywhere Edition, Flessner says, will provide a "lightweight, compact, but rich subset" of the core SQL Server line, including the capability to synchronize with other SQL Server databases, and to share a common programming model and use the standard SQL Server development tools. What will differentiate the new Everywhere Edition from the previous Mobile Edition will be its capability to run on versions of Windows, including Windows Vista, and not just the scaled-down versions of Windows designed for handheld devices, such as Windows CE.
SQL Server Everywhere Edition will be designed for the "occasionally connected" environment, Flessner says, which is to say the wonderful world of electronic gadgetry, ranging today from laptops and cell phones to iPods and cameras (and tomorrow, who knows what we'll be carrying around). One wonders if SQL Server Everywhere Edition will work like WinFS, the revolutionary (but as yet non-existent) file system that was to put a database at the heart of the next generation of Windows.
Flessner says to expect the first CTP of SQL Server Everywhere Edition this summer and the first release of the final form "before the end of this calendar year."