Developers Prepare to Tackle SQL Server 2005 Upgrades

Reporter's Notebook: Users say they didn't mind the prolonged wait, but they are ready to start evaluating and deploying SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005.

SAN FRANCISCO—The prolonged SQL Server upgrade cycle and questions about Visual Studio 2005s code quality were of little concern to some of the business application developers who attended Microsoft Corp.s product launch conference here Monday, saying they were ready to start evaluating or even deploying the products.

Many of the attendees were employed by public agencies or small and midsize companies with limited resources for upgrades. For these customers, the releases of SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2005 were fairly timely.

Government agencies dont usually have the money or resources to deal with the rapid-fire product upgrades that seem to be the norm in the software industry, said Pam Sheppard, principal IT analyst with Kings County in Californias central valley.

/zimages/1/28571.gifWhy are some developers are questioning the quality of the Visual Studio Code that Microsoft released Monday? Read more here.

"We will migrate to the new technology because you cant afford to fall behind … But it does put a burden on development process" because of resource shortages, she said. "The industry changes very rapidly, and the upgrade process can be very difficult for us because of limited resources in staffing, training and funding."

Sheppard said she has already attended the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference and the SQL Server 2005 road show to learn more of the technical details of the product.

There are valuable advances in reporting and accounting in the new edition of SQL Server 2005, and this is important in county government, where accounting is a major function, Sheppard said. Thus, a move to SQL Server and Visual Studio is a "natural progression for us," she said.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read about the new features in SQL Server 2005 that might tempt customers to buy the upgrade.

Sheppard said she is also involved with Web application development for Kings County, so getting access to the latest version of Visual Studio will be useful as well. She said she is not particularly concerned about questions raised in the developer community about the quality of the Visual Studio code.

All software products have bugs, Sheppard said, adding that she is confident that Visual Studio is stable enough to use and that Microsoft will fix the remaining problems.

Ari Gamo, the founder and owner of Saint Ari Solutions, a six-person consulting firm here in San Francisco, said he hopes to upgrade to Visual Studio 2005 to carry out contract development work on a asset management system and a time-keeping system operated by the City and County of San Francisco.

The key advantage in Visual Studio 2005 for Gamos work is that it separates the business logic from the visual presentation layer, which enables more efficient and reliable coding.

Gamo said he would also like to see the San Francisco government upgrade to SQL Server 2005 to support these applications, but that would be harder to convince city officials to spend additional money on the updated server, he said.

Next Page: Developers kick the upgrades tires.

John Pallatto

John Pallatto

John Pallatto has been editor in chief of QuinStreet Inc.'s eWEEK.com since October 2012. He has more than 40 years of experience as a professional journalist working at a daily newspaper and...