Microsoft Outlines SQL Server 7 Upgrade Plans



Microsoft today unveiled plans for the next generation of its SQL Server 7 database that include improved scalability, support for the Extensible Markup Language, and better data warehousing features.

Called SQL Server 2000, the product will support up to 64 Gbytes of memory in its most advanced configuration, the company says. Previously code named "Shiloh," the database will be available in a standard edition for use with Windows 2000 Server and Advanced Server, and an Enterprise Edition designed to run on Windows 2000 DataCenter Server for large E-commerce order-processing and data-analysis environments. SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition will also take advantage of Windows 2000 DataCenter Edition's support for up to 32 processors and four-node clustering for failover capabilities, Microsoft says. Windows 2000 Server and Advanced Server are scheduled to ship Feb. 17, with DataCenter due 90 to 120 days later.

With SQL Server 2000, Microsoft takes aim at the large database environments dominated by the likes of Oracle and IBM. The next-generation SQL Server improves the product's scalability, availability, data warehousing functions, and adds native XML support, Microsoft says.

The company said the product will take full advantage of Windows 2000's Active Directory. SQL Server 2000 will automatically register itself in the Active Directory upon installation and report changes in its environment to the directory service during the course of operation, lead product manager Barry Goffe says. That means database administrators can query SQL Server 2000 about new machines installed on the network and about which servers have been backed up, for example. IT shops may also use the Active Directory to query SQL about new databases or online analytical processing cubes. Administrators will be able to search for servers and databases by alias, without knowing the names and locations of servers, Goffe says.

Microsoft released beta 1 of SQL Server 2000 in October to about 750 companies, and a public beta is slated for early next year.

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