Microsoft partners up
Microsoft will partner with Dell Inc. as an OEM for SQL Server Workgroup and Standard editions. Analysts paint the move as an effort by Microsoft to fend off open-source database vendors. Rizzo said Microsoft took care to offer customers what they wanted most in the SQL Server databaserich XML and Web services support and deep integration with .Net. Some of the enhancements proved to be addition by subtraction.For instance, Microsoft removed the Workload Governor feature in the low-end SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, with officials admitting that the tool had been too difficult for customers to grasp.Within its SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition, Microsoft incorporated new features including unlimited RAM; a new version of Reporting Server; and database mirroring capabilities, which create the need for a new license by turning a passive server into an active server, enabling customers to use a database snapshot at a failover site. "I love it when Oracle [Corp.] and IBM underestimate us. Were coming in guns blazing," said Rizzo. Read more here about Dells new offerings for business users. "They can charge high prices for their software and for all these add-ons, but customers want value. High-priced database software is coming to an end." Damien Georges, manager of database applications for private equity company Summit Partners LP, in Boston, said he is eager to get his hands on SQL Servers mirroring. "Wed like to use mirroring and the redundancy of an offline SQL Server," said Georges. "We have an office in Palo Alto [Calif.], and were thinking of using [the feature] as part of our disaster recovery plan." Georges said he anticipates some users may not be prepared for the advanced controls and features of the revamped SQL Server 2005 line. "There will be a big learning curve," he said. "Its going to scare some [database administrators] to death, and I think theyll have some push-back. Thats inevitable." Other features Summit Partners is finding advantageous within its SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition production deployment is the ability to more easily create business intelligence and analysis services, tighter integration with Microsofts Visual Studio development tool, as well as being able to consume Web services directly from the SQL Server database. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.