Microsoft SQL Server 2005 customers will have to upgrade from Service Pack 1 to an as-yet unavailable Service Pack 2 before their applications will be able to work with Vista or the Longhorn server.
Microsofts corporate customers may have another reason to take their time upgrading to Vista. The latest one is that the current version, Microsofts SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 1, released in April 2006, wont work with Vista or with the related Longhorn server.
These two operating systems will only support SQL Server 2005 SP2 "or later when it becomes available," according to Microsofts SQL Server support Web pages. But there is no indication on these sites of how soon it will deliver SP2 or whether it will deliver the service pack at about the same time Vista and Longhorn are released.
Click here to read about the features built into SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 1 that Microsoft shipped in April 2006.
Benjamin Jones, a SQL Server consultant based in the United Kingdom, said in his blog on the MSDN Web site that SP2 should come out as a Community Technology Preview "some time soon."
Microsoft is also reminding customers that even older versions of the database, SQL Server 7.0 or 6.5, wont run on Vista or Longhorn and it might be a good time to update to SQL Server 2005 because it was "designed to take advantage of the upcoming security and performance enhancements" in the new operating systems.
Microsoft is urging customers using earlier versions of the database to obtain a trial version of SQL Server 2005 and Vista Beta 2 to test their applications to resolve any incompatibilities.
Furthermore, MDSE (Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine) 1.0 and 2000, free bare-bones versions of the database engine, also wont work with Vista.
Microsoft is telling customers that they should switch to the SQL Server 2005 Express Edition to replace MSDE if they plan to build a new application and distribute it with a database.
Its apparent that Microsoft is fine-tuning the marketing and distribution of virtually all the versions database product. This includes the mobile edition, which until recently has been known as SQL Server Everywhere.
The new name is SQL Server Compact Edition, as confirmed on the MSDN blog of Microsoft product manager Steve Lasker.
He wrote on Oct. 31 that the company is going back to an earlier name for the product because "compact" reflects its true nature.
"By leveraging an existing name, it allowed us to quickly turn around the name change and meet our commitment to ship in 06," Lasker wrote.
He also suggested the name change would help clear up any potential market confusion between the SQL Server Compact and Express editions.
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John Pallatto is eWEEK.com's Managing Editor News/West Coast. He directs eWEEK's news coverage in Silicon Valley and throughout the West Coast region. He has more than 35 years of experience as a professional journalist, which began as a report with the Hartford Courant daily newspaper in Connecticut. He was also a member of the founding staff of PC Week in March 1984. Pallatto was PC Week's West Coast bureau chief, a senior editor at Ziff Davis' Internet Computing magazine and the West Coast bureau chief at Internet World magazine.