Bearing a new name and pricing scheme targeting nonprofessional users, Microsoft Corp. says its Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, which made its debut Tuesday at Microsoft TechEd Europe in Amsterdam, Netherlands, will replace MSDE (Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine) as the software makers lightweight database offering of choice.
Armed with a basic set of Web management tools, tighter integration with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, and bolstered language features that MSDE did not posses, Microsoft officials say SQL Server 2005 Express should help clear up a variety of user misunderstanding surrounding the database tool.
"We think it will be night and day between MSDE and [SQL Server] Express," said Tom Rizzo, SQL Server product manager for Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft. "A lot of customers told us from the SQL Server side, I like MSDE, but it doesnt have XML support and I want to use Visual Basic in the midtier and Visual Basic in the database. We said OK, well add that into Express. We want to make you as productive as a database developer as you are as a Visual Basic developer."
SQL Server 2005 Express features integrated CLR (Common Language Runtime) support and the ability to allow users to write stored procedures and functions implemented with any programming language they choose. Along with native XML support and XQuery support, the database software provides access to Visual Studios DataGridView, DataNavigator, and DataConnector developer tool set.
Customers can expect to see SQL Server Express Manager, a new database management and query analysis tool, made available next month.
Microsoft is also introducing a new pricing scheme to go with the new name.
Rizzo said that a number of customers have experienced difficulty digesting MSDEs pricing rules. MSDE featured a workload governor that would slow down the server if a certain number of queries were executed and thus held in a queue.
SQL Server 2005 Express Edition is expected to be available for download by the end of the week at no cost.