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Posted Nov 12, 2004

SQL Server 2005 Part 1 Introduction

By Marcin Policht

SQL Server 2000 will be soon reaching its five-year mark, which in terms of software life-cycle translates into fairly advanced maturity. While this is still far from retirement age, the name of its successor, SQL Server 2005, suggests that it might be time for you to start looking into what the new generation has to offer. The release of SQL Server 2005, originally introduced as Yukon, has already been postponed, but its current Beta 2 implementation (with several incremental Community Technical Previews expected before Beta 3 becomes available early next year) brings promise of a timely RTM stage (planned for summer next year). In this series of articles, we will look into functional highlights of the new incarnation of the Microsoft database management system, focusing on those that are likely to remain unchanged in the final product.

Improvements to the database engine, the details of which are not published by Microsoft, and the corresponding changes to the main infrastructure components are reflected by a substantial number of new features as well as enhancements to existing ones. The most relevant ones can be grouped into several categories, such as high availability and scalability, security, data management, administration and maintenance, and development.

The demand for high availability is becoming increasingly common and is no longer limited to major corporate and governmental clients. This results not only from a growing level of customer expectations, but also from the new political climate associated with more stringent legislative and regulatory requirements, in which disaster recovery and business continuity are more relevant then ever. However, businesses are also, at the same time, extremely interested in keeping their costs to a minimum. Microsoft tries to address these expectations by implementing scalability enhancements, which ensure that SQL Server can perform equally well in environments of any size, and by the introduction of several versions of SQL Server 2005 (geared towards more specialized needs) such as:

  • SQL Server Standard Edition - offering the most diverse set of features and intended for the majority of clients.
  • SQL Server 2005 Express Edition - serving as the replacement for Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) and available for download from the Microsoft Dowload Center. Like its predecessor, it was designed with developers in mind, however, unlike the previous version, it also includes a Web based management interface.
  • SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition - as a successor to SQL Server 2000 Windows CE Edition, it is intended for Windows mobile-based devices, such as Tablet PCs, Pocket PCs, and Smartphones

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