‘Yukon’ Sneak Peek: Next Generation of Microsoft SQL Server to Strengthen Developer Productivity

Gordon Mangione, Corporate Vice President, SQL Server Team Click image for high-res version.

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 28, 2003 — During a keynote today at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Gordon Mangione offered software developers from around the world a first-ever glimpse into the next version of its database software, Microsoft SQL Server, codenamed “Yukon.”

Along with a sneak peek at the tools designed to increase developer productivity, Microsoft is providing PDC attendees with a preview version of the “Yukon” beta release. Prior to this week’s gathering in Los Angeles, PressPass spoke with Mangione about the developer tools in the next release.

PressPass: Why is PDC an important conference for the SQL Server group?

Mangione: For the first time, we will be able to offer more specific details about the developer features that will be available with the next version of SQL Server. We are talking about our expectations for the future of the database. The SQL Server team is also releasing a Beta 1 of the SQL Server “Yukon” release for PDC attendees. More details about SQL Server “Yukon” will be discussed publicly as we approach our public beta targeted for the first half of 2004.

PressPass: Which developer features did you announce?

Mangione: Since we are here at PDC, we wanted to talk about how SQL Server “Yukon” will enhance developer productivity. Features such as enhanced Extensible Markup Language (XML) support and deeper integration with .NET technologies and Microsoft development tools, will allow developers to build better Web services. We are excited about the advancements with the Common Language Runtime (CLR). In SQL Server “Yukon”, CLR will be hosted in the database engine and give developers the ability to choose from a variety of languages. Substantial advancements with XML and Web services provide developers with increased flexibility, simplify the integration of internal and external systems, and provide more efficient development and debugging of line-of-business and business intelligence applications.

PressPass: Why did you announce these features as part of PDC? When will we hear about other features?

Mangione: We decided to unveil these “Yukon” features here first because PDC provides us with an opportunity to discuss our next release with a broad, well-qualified audience. We knew that the attendees will go back to their companies and think about how these features can help them write better applications, take advantage of new opportunities and advance their company’s innovation.

PressPass: How will these features help developers?

Mangione: These features respond to developers’ needs to quickly build and deploy applications and allow them to add additional value to their organization. One of our Beta 1 customers, TPI, has found the developer features of “Yukon” allow for easier setup and maintenance than its predecessor. TPI is excited that even little things, like moving storage-system objects to a different location, help save time because they are easy to use. SQL Server 2000 established Microsoft as the leader in providing this capability. SQL Server “Yukon” will further increase developer productivity by giving developers their choice of language and providing deep XML support, which will enable them to store their own models and interface with existing relational databases, while at the same time giving us the flexibility to build on the next-generation XML architecture.

PressPass: So, what are you hearing from customers? What challenges are they facing and how do you address them with the “Yukon”?

Mangione: We’ve received clear, consistent feedback about “Yukon” — both the good and the bad — and we are using that feedback as we continue to push to Beta 2. Cyence International, another Beta 1 tester, reported that the Business Intelligence tools in Beta 1 have helped them build and deploy more reliable and secure applications, seamlessly integrate with their client’s XML systems, and respond to client’s workload more efficiently and with greater results. This feedback is critical as we develop SQL Server “Yukon”.

PressPass: Longhorn is a major component of PDC this year, how is “Yukon” taking advantage of the file-structure improvements in “Longhorn”?

Mangione: Microsoft is taking a number of technologies, some from the SQL Server team, some from the Windows team, some from Microsoft SharePoint, to build the next generation file system. By combining the best technologies from across Microsoft, customers will benefit in having a much richer way to interact with their data on a daily basis on the Windows platform. “Longhorn” will provide next generation file system capabilities while SQL Server provides robust enterprise relational database and business intelligence features.

PressPass: Why will developers be interested in upgrading to SQL Server “Yukon”?

Mangione: Developers need to be able to quickly build and deploy applications. SQL Server “Yukon” delivers these capabilities by integrating the CLR in the database, providing deep XML support, and using Visual Studio as the development environment. With these tools, SQL Server “Yukon” is expected to significantly increase developer productivity and flexibility and remove the complexity barriers for developers. TPI has found SQL Server “Yukon” beta 1 to be 10 times more powerful both as a database engine and a development platform due to integration and native support of XML data.

PressPass: Considering the current financial climate, do you think businesses are going to be willing to invest in new technology upgrades? And if so, why would they choose SQL Server “Yukon”?

Mangione: Microsoft has a commitment to help customers drive down costs in their businesses. As demonstrated in recent TPC benchmarks, SQL Server takes a lead in delivering on this commitment by providing industry-leading price and performance, better manageability, and deep integration with the operating system, development tools, and productivity applications that customers use today. For our customers and partners, this translates into manageability and cost advantages.

PressPass: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing Microsoft with regard to SQL Server– today and for the future? How is Microsoft responding to those challenges?

Mangione: Clearly we are in a competitive market. The winners in the database space will be those who provide the best value, and provide customers with the features and functionality they need. Judging by the growth SQL Server has experienced the last few years, and by strong customer and partner feedback, we feel strongly that SQL Server delivers this today, and we will continue to innovate while providing high value for customers.

PressPass: When will “Yukon” be ready?

Mangione: The first public beta of “Yukon” is slated for the first half of 2004, and general availability is targeted for the second half of the year.

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