Web Services Land in Yukon

Microsoft claims Web services will play a key role in the next version of its SQL Server database.

SAN FRANCISCO—Web services will play a key role in Yukon, the next version of Microsoft Corp.s SQL Server database, a company executive said.

Giving a preview of the upcoming technology at the VSLive show here, David Campbell, product unit manager of the SQL Server Engine at Microsoft, said in a keynote presentation Thursday, "SQL Server Yukon is a great Web services engine."

Tom Rizzo, a group product manager for SQL Server, gave a demonstration of Yukon, where he built a business-to-business portal solution using the technology.

In it, he showed "cross-domain queries where we combined the best of XML and the best of relational technology."

Campbell said the group devising the upcoming version of SQL Server going by the code name Yukon, which will be in beta by midyear, was split between those wanting to deliver a pure XML data store and those who said, "No, its a passing fad. So we did something in the middle." The XML support enhances the products Web services capabilities.

However, "the schema is 95 percent relational … but you can build an XML document store, and having an XML data type throughout the system works well."

The new data types in Yukon are Varchar (max), Date, Time and XML, Campbell said. In addition, Yukon will include Microsofts IntelliSense auto-complete technology and its Visual SourceSafe source code control system, said Campbell to raucous applause from the packed crowd. Yukon also will be tightly integrated with Visual Studio 2003, Microsofts application development platform. Tight integration with Visual Studio provides better authoring, debugging and profiling capabilities, he said.

But Web services are a foundational technology in the new product. "Web services plumb directly in Yukon," Campbell said. "Yukon can directly host Web services and will generate standard WSDL [Web Services Description Language] for binding in clients."

Rizzo said Web services are natively hosted out of Yukon. Yukon exposes Web services using the new XDocs client out of Office 11. XDocs is the code name for what is now known as InfoPath.

"The WSDL is generated by declaring the stored procedure as a Web method," Rizzo said.

Rizzo also demonstrated the new Reporting Services—announced Wednesday—that will be built into Yukon and integrated with Visual Studio. The Reporting Services will have a Web services interface, he said.

"Were making a ton of investments in developer productivity," Campbell said, noting that developers can write "stored procedures in any CLR language." Another new feature of Yukon is its integration with the Common Language Runtime (CLR), which supports development in more than 25 languages. And stored procedures can be stored as Web services in the Yukon database, he said.

In addition, Campbell said Microsoft has made enhancements to the T-SQL database programming language in Yukon—including the new data types, recursive queries and exception handling.

Campbell also said Web services lay the groundwork for Autonomous Computing Cells, which support a service center model of computing where Web services messages deliver data to the database.