The years product highlights
The Best: The Yukon announcement itself. Get ready for Microsofts jump into the realm of enterprise databases. Support for Transact-SQL, Visual Basic .Net and Visual C# .Net; support for XQuery and XML; and better tools-developing applications will be welcome enhancements. Add in better security, reliability and availability, and maybe soon well see a SQL Server iteration that manages to avoid getting laughed at by Oracle DBAs. Although that seems to be happening alreadywitness Microsofts first-ever placing in Winter Corp.s Top 10 Databases program, with Verizons SQL Server hitting sixth place in size for all environments at 5.3 terabytes and nabbing the top slot for transaction-processing databases on the Windows platform. The Best: 64-Bit Databases. Microsoft rolled out SQL Server 2000 for 64-bit at the Windows Server 2003 launch, with new TPC results ranking SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) with Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition as No. 1 in two benchmarks. Oracle also rolled out Oracle9i Database Release 2 on 32- and 64-bit Windows Server 2003. Obviously, with AMDs release of its 64-bit Opteron and Intels Itanium and Itanium 2 processors, buying big boxes that run fast chips got far more affordable this past year.The Best: Oracle 10g. Oracles focus on grid computing, grid computings promise of lower costs through use of commodity hardware, plus the companys focus on Linux all promise to save enterprises money. Time will tell if the consulting services necessary to implement 10g will offset the hardware savings. But if 10gs automated features work as well as theyre doing now in beta, consulting shouldnt be a big money pit. Click here to read about Oracle 10g automation. Next page: Fun with RAC crashes and price wars.