Microsoft Releases Updates for SQL Server 2005 While Enterprise Customers Continue to Choose SQL Server 2000 Over the Competition

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 3, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of the second Community Technology Preview (CTP) for Microsoft®
SQL Server (TM) 2005 and the technical preview availability of SQL Server 2005 Express Manager, a new, free database management tool. In addition, Microsoft unveiled new customers that chose SQL Server over the competition including DPF Data Services Group, Grand Expeditions Inc., Greater Vancouver Regional District and Manulife Financial Corp. to increase operational efficiency and maximize their return on information technology (IT) investments.

Beta Testing Begins for Second SQL Server 2005 CTP, Express Manager

The second SQL Server 2005 CTP is now available to all MSDN®
and Betaplace subscribers. A CTP is an interim build that provides the community with the ability to test and experiment with new features as they are added to SQL Server 2005. In addition to many quality and performance enhancements, this CTP will introduce 64-bit support for SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services and SQL Server 2005 Integration Services on top of the 64-bit support already included for the database engine.

Also available today is the technical preview of the SQL Server 2005 Express Manager. Designed to be easy to use, the SQL Server 2005 Express Manager provides features to simplify, automate and reduce the complexity of database support and administration. Built on top of the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0., SQL Server 2005 Express Manager can be used to manage SQL Server 2000, SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE 2000) and SQL Server 2005 Developer and Express Edition databases on local and remote computers. The SQL Server 2005 Express Manager will be available later today for download from , Betaplace and MSDN.

“We’re encouraged by the success of the CTP program for SQL Server 2005. The response has been impressive, and we are excited to be able to offer another update to our customers today,” said Paul Flessner, senior vice president for SQL Server at Microsoft. “We’re seeing that more and more people are moving to SQL Server because of its low cost, enterprise data management capabilities and integrated business intelligence (BI). We’re confident that programs like the CTP will help us build a better product and encourage other customers to make the switch to SQL Server.”

The Move Is on to SQL Server

Customers are choosing Microsoft’s flagship database product over competing solutions to increase operational efficiency and maximize their return on IT investments. SQL Server 2000 provides customers with a complete database platform with integrated BI, development and management tools that are available at no additional charge for customers. Specifically, DPF Data, Grand Expeditions, Greater Vancouver Regional District and Manulife join a long list of customers that are gaining a strategic IT advantage through investments in SQL Server and the Microsoft platform.

Multiple industry reports indicate that more customers are moving away from competing database vendors such as IBM Corp., Oracle Corp. and Sybase Inc. These customers are realizing dramatic increases in efficiency and return on their technology investments, while building competitive advantage in their respective industries. Here are a few examples:

  • DPF Data. Performance and recovery is critical for application solution provider DPF Data Services. Looking to improve its scalability and compatibility, DPF migrated its four terabytes of information from Sybase and Oracle products to SQL Server 2000. In addition to a full return on investment, SQL Server has helped the company realize increased performance, zero downtime and enhancements with data visibility, database management, and backup and recovery.

“We have not had one second of downtime in the full year and a half since we made the switch to Microsoft SQL Server 2000,” said Art Helmstetter, director of technology at DPF Data. “We now have unlimited scalability and so much storage that I can double the database at will and never worry about data degradation, complications or losing any measure of control.”

  • Grand Expeditions. Grand Expeditions, a consortium of luxury travel companies, wanted to reduce its Web development and hosting costs, improve site reliability and performance, and make it easier for its marketing staff to post new information. Grand Expeditions accomplished these objectives by moving its travel Web sites from a combination of Linux- and UNIX-based servers running the Oracle 8i database to Microsoft Windows Server System (TM) including SQL Server 2000 and Windows Server (TM) 2003. The implementation is saving Grand Expeditions approximately $200,000 (U.S.) a year in hosting and development costs, while boasting rock-solid reliability and subsecond response times.

“We’ve easily cut $200,000 annually out of our Web costs by moving our Web sites from Linux-Oracle servers to low-cost Windows Server-based Dell servers,” said Hans Birkholz, president and chief operating officer of Grand Expeditions. “That’s a huge savings for a company of our size. SQL Server 2000 is also far more reliable than Oracle. Our sites used to go down once a week, but not anymore. We haven’t had a single instance of server downtime by migrating to Windows Server System.”

  • The Greater Vancouver Regional District. In an effort to standardize and simplify its platform, the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) decided to move to Microsoft Windows and migrate its PeopleSoft application from UNIX-Sybase to SQL Server. The migration has helped the GVRD make substantial performance gains and ensured a strategic fit with its ERP system.

“In looking at the total cost of ownership, including costs required to support and upgrade existing systems, we realized that it would be much easier to simplify technologies by standardizing on one operating system,” said Ed Coutinho, director of business systems for GVRD. “Financially and strategically, the Windows Server and SQL Server solution made much more sense.”

  • Manulife. Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based financial services group, offers a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services. As part of a review of overall IT spending, Manulife’s Canadian Pension Operations business unit identified migrating to Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition and Windows 2000 Advanced Server as a significant cost savings.

“Over a five-year period we will save approximately $4 million (Canadian) in our hardware and software expenditures,” said Bill Laskey, director of the Information Services Group at Manulife Financial Canadian Pension Operations. “We’ve not sacrificed anything in the migration process; in fact, we’ve made significant performance gains that convert to greater business agility for our organization.”

Those interested in learning more about implementing SQL Server should visit .

About SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server, part of the Windows Server System, is the complete database and analysis offering for rapidly delivering the next generation of scalable e-commerce, line-of-business and business intelligence solutions. It dramatically reduces the time required to bring these applications to market while offering the scalability needed for the most-demanding environments. More information on Microsoft SQL Server can be found at .

About Windows Server System

Microsoft Windows Server System is integrated server software providing the infrastructure for IT operations, application development, integration and information work. Built on the Windows Server operating system and designed with Common Engineering Criteria, Windows Server System is focused on making it easier for IT professionals to connect and manage their IT environments. Because Windows Server System products are integrated for enhanced manageability and security, they help organizations reduce complexity and lower costs. All Windows Server System products support open industry standards including those based on XML to promote interoperability with other platforms. More information on Windows Server System can be found online at .

About Microsoft

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