Page Three

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2002-09-09 Print this article Print

: SQL Server Boss Gives a Sneak Peak"> Mangione: Absolutely. Its probably from a technology perspective one of the most exciting thing were doing for developers. XML, well really up our game again in that space. We did a lot of great work in XML in SQL Server 2000, but theyll be lots of new technologies that come in with XML in that time frame. We really want to make it so that SQL Server can be that one repository for all of your information because theres such a win in doing that. If your developers can use all the tools they have today, and you can put all your data inside the database then the type of value you can drive out of that and the way you can develop applications is just so much more compelling than what you have to do today. Deal with your file servers, deal with your Web servers, deal with your database line-of-business apps – its really, really hard to build apps together that way.
eWEEK: So youre not talking here about SQL Server necessarily being the common store for all this information?
Mangione: We want to make it so that SQL Server is an applicable place to put all that information. So all your documents, all of your XML and all of your regular line-of-business apps can be put in there. And thats really a technology statement in how were going to bring all that information together. eWEEK: What has to happen for that to occur? People could do that today, I guess, if they wanted to. Mangione: But not really with the performance that theyd need. Yeah, you can put XML into the database but it all gets shredded on the way in. Yeah, you can store your documents in the database. Were talking about pretty deep integration between technologies like NTSF [New Technology File System] and SQL Server that allow you to have files as columns inside the database and not give up the performance benefits – really get all the performance of streaming file systems with all the programming and isolation and transactions of databases. The final area were doing a lot of interesting stuff is…business intelligence. Building a BI system today is tough. Youve got multiple vendors involved. You probably got a system integrator involved who has to bring together all the technologies. Its hard to map the data flows. Its hard to deal with all of your sources. You have to have people who understand your industries, ETL and OLAP, reporting front ends and how to analyze that [and] data mining technologies. What we really want to do in Yukon is really use things like data mining to figure out what should be mined and automate some of the processes of building transformations and building OLAP front ends and really taking a lot of the complexity out of that system. eWEEK: It seems like a common approach among all the database vendors is to drive more and more algorithms into the engine so that more of the data mining can be done specifically there. Is this more of that or are you talking a more significant change of how data mining and warehousing is done? Mangione: I really think its going to be more significant than that because what we really want to do is build the framework that allows you to build those applications without having to be an expert in all those areas. Yeah, Oracles put in a few things like pivoting cubes into the database, but that doesnt make it any easier to build a data warehouse. Youve still got to move your data, you still have to cleanse your data, you still have to deal with the security systems on the back end. Its really about, How do we use data mining to go and look at your existing sources and come up with recommendations that automate and build those systems for you in a very easy-to-use way? eWEEK: Theres been a lot of talk about scalability from other vendors—weve seen Oracle make its whole Real Application Clusters [RAC] push. Will Microsoft with Yukon do something in clustering to enhance scalability?

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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