Microsoft Corp., citing customer feedback, has delayed the release of the next version of SQL Server, code-named Yukon, until it can be integrated with Visual Studio .Net.
Yukon was originally slated for release next spring, but it is now expected to be released to manufacturing in the second half of next year, said officials of the Redmond, Wash., company, speaking from the Tech Ed conference here. A beta will be released this summer, they said. Stan Sorensen, Microsofts director of SQL Server product management, said the product delay is about quality. "The feedback that we have gotten from customers is that they expect a rock-solid release," Sorensen said.
Because Yukon will be tightly integrated with the next version of Visual Studio .Net, code-named Whidbey, the Visual Studio team believed it needed more time. "If [Yukon is] not ready at the end of 2004, well ship it when it is ready," said Paul Flessner, senior vice president of Microsofts Server Platform Division.
To ensure that Yukon protects customer data, Microsoft is moving its own internal SQL Server 2000 deployments onto the new database platform. Yukon wont be released until internal operations are up to snuff, said Tom Rizzo, group product manager for SQL Server. Microsoft is taking pains to ensure quality because Yukon is a "big, big release," Rizzo said—one that will include a host of new features in three key areas: enterprise capabilities, such as scalability, availability, reliability, security and manageability; programming interoperability, including integration of .Net technologies into Yukon and .Net enhancements to ensure those development platforms work seamlessly with the database; and business intelligence enhancements that will quadruple the amount of data mining capabilities in SQL Server 2000.
"I am not entirely surprised at the Yukon delay, and I actually welcome it," said Daniel Mross, a database administrator at FreeMarkets Inc., in Pittsburgh. "Remember Windows 95? NT 4.0? I would rather that the product undergoes extensive testing than to release it to market just because of a promised date."