What SQL Server Needs
Meanwhile, David Campbell, a Microsoft Technical Fellow, working in the Data Storage Platform division, said he has specialized in how developers work with data-having been with the SQL Server team for 14 years-after coming from Digital Equipment Corp. "We've extended SQL Server down to devices and scaled up to large servers, and now are building a cloud service. And we support all types of data-from just relational to BLOB [Binary Large Objects] to now integrated," Campbell said In SQL Server 2008, two new things appear-support for spatial data and file stream support, he said. The new release also supports a broader array of operations over the data, including the ability to integrate, analyze, visualize, report on and synchronize the data, Campbell said.Meanwhile, at Tech-Ed, Microsoft is announcing Velocity, a distributed explicit, coherent cache, "to place a cache above the database and the application," which can be integrated with ASP.Net as a session cache, Campbell said. Velocity is most like Oracle's Tangosol technology, Campbell said. Oracle acquired Tangosol last year. Tangosol's Coherence product, now subsumed into Oracle simply as Tangosol, provides a proven, reliable in-memory data-grid technology designed to meet the new demands for real-time data analytics, compute intensive middleware and high-performance transactions-often referred to as XTP (Extreme Transaction Processing). Memcached is a similar solution in the open source world, Campbell said. "Tangosol is probably the closest in terms of what it'll [Velocity] look like," Campbell said. "And if you know .Net, you'll know Velocity," he said, noting that it will be integrated into the platform. "The issue is the reduction of latency and getting data from one place to another," Campbell said. "We have to design as if the cost of storage has gone to zero," he said. Primarily, "it's a matter of getting the right data in the right form at the right time," Campbell said. That is what Microsoft is delivering. And customers such as NewsGator are buying. NewsGator is using SQL Server 2008 to manage 2.5 billion articles, Microsoft officials said.
"The thing with SQL Server is it's a database product, but what's in the box is a BI [business intelligence] platform as well," Campbell said. "There are reporting services in the box. We're making BI be more real-time and embedding it in applications."