At last months tech-ed conference, Microsoft gave the first public demonstration of the next release of its SQL Server database, code-named Yukon.
Its very early in the development process (Yukon wont ship until 2003, eons from now), but Microsofts key directions are becoming clear: a long-term move toward native XML support in the database (including use of XQuery to retrieve data) and support for the new .Net languages and run-time environment.
Microsoft plans to convert Exchanges Web Storage System to use SQL Server.
I got a private backstage demo of an early build of Yukon from Lyle Curry, Microsoft SQL Server product planner (see photo), who let me see firsthand the new language abilities of Yukon.
His demo used a SQL-stored procedure written in C#. The code parsed an incoming XML stream to extract search keywords and then looked up related data in the database, in an Exchange message store and in the file system (all these are searchable through .Net APIs). That information was combined into an XML output document that was then transformed using XSLT (Extensible Style Language Transformation) into an HTML page displayed in a browser.
Yukon also drops SQL Servers current Query Analyzer tool for a new tool called SQL Server Workbench that is based on the Visual Studio .Net IDE. The change provides benefits such as SQL command completion.