The lateness issues
But there are other issues at stake regarding the calendar. For one thing, theres the money spent for years of upgrade assurance from the Software Assurance program. All these years have gone by without any upgrades, even incremental. True, as pointed out to me by Tom Rizzo, director of product management for SQL Server, Microsoft did deliver some nifty stuff outside of upgrades. There was the Web Services tool kit for SQL Server 2000 that the Redmondites put out in 2002. That provided Web services support and rich XML support. There was the new version of SQL Server CE, which was nice for customers who wanted a rich mobile database. (At least, Microsoft said it was nice for those customers. Was it? Let me know if it wasnt.) And then there were Reporting Services, an undeniably cool and unarguably right-priced (read, free) business-intelligence tool. And its also true that the Software Assurance program delivers other things besides upgrades that made DBAs lives easier. For the money, you get support, training, deployment tools, employee discounts on software and extended warrantees.Next page: Does anybody care about the enterprise features that got cut out?
But make no mistake about it, users are still hungry for the new features SQL Server 2005 promises to deliver. Both Microsoft and SQLServerCentral.com have been running surveys to find out which features users are most eager to get their hands on. From what Im gleaning, data mirroring is by far one of the top picks. Theres a hodgepodge of other features users are excited about, including the dedicated administrator connection, new and improved T-SQL and an integrated tool setif it has good monitoring and management tools a la SQLProbe, according to a posting by Aethyr Dragon.