In a letter to SQL Server 2005 beta testers, Paul Flessner, senior vice president at the Redmond, Wash., software giant, said Microsoft will release CTPs (Community Technical Previews) of SQL Server 2005 starting Friday and will continue to release the interim builds between the major betas of the technology.
The next major beta of SQL Server 2005 will be Beta 3, which will be released in the first quarter of 2005, the company said. The final version of the product is expected next summer, the company said.
At its Professional Developers Conference last October, Microsoft said it would begin to give developers access to more builds of its key tools and products to enable developers to get hands-on experience with the products new features and enhancements. The CTPs are an extension of that, the company said. Also in the letter, Flessner said Microsoft may deliver additional CTPs before Beta 3.
The Developer Edition of the SQL Server 2005 CTP is available now on Microsofts Betaplace site and will be available to MSDN Universal, Enterprise and Professional subscribers through the MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) Subscriber Downloads site within one or two weeks, Flessner said.
"The decision to release a CTP build for SQL Server 2005 was based on the successes of a limited community drop during SQL Server 2005 Beta 1 and the Visual Studio 2005 CTP program," Flessner said in his letter.
"Were making great progress on SQL Server 2005, and were on track to deliver a solid Beta 3 in Q1 and the final release next summer," he said. "However, the delivery will depend on many factors, including customer and partner feedback, successful external customer deployments and successful internal Microsoft IT deployments.
"We already have 20 applications in production at Microsoft, including our full SAP, payroll and document-repository systems," Flessner said. "We plan to put another 30 applications into production before final RTM [release to manufacturing]."