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Sidebar: Release of SQL Server 2005 May Slip Again

By Carol Sliwa
October 25, 2004 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Microsoft last week confirmed that the shipment date for its long-awaited SQL Server 2005 database could slip slightly beyond the target of the first half of 2005 that the company set earlier this year when it delayed the upgrade for the third time.
In a product update sent to beta testers via e-mail on Oct. 15, Paul Flessner, senior vice president of server applications at Microsoft, said that the third beta release of SQL Server 2005 remains on track for the first quarter of next year and that the commercial release is expected during the summer.
"We decided summer was a more general and accurate representation than committing that [the final release] is going to be by June 30 no matter what," said Kirsten Ward, lead product manager for SQL Server.
Microsoft's Visual Studio 2005 development tools will ship with SQL Server, so they're also now due in the summer, confirmed Prashant Sridharan, a lead product manager.
Microsoft could meet its first-half shipment goals if SQL Server 2005 ships in June, but that appears unlikely based on the expected release date for the product's third and final beta. Ward said four to six months typically elapse between the shipment of a final beta and the product's release to manufacturing.
But Flessner cautioned that the delivery date will depend on many factors, including user and partner feedback as well as successful customer deployments and internal installations by Microsoft's IT department. He noted that Micro soft already has 20 applications in production on the current beta release, including its full SAP-based ERP system and its payroll and document repository systems. The company plans to put an additional 30 applications into production before the product's commercial release, Flessner said.
Prior to the release of the third beta, Microsoft plans to make available interim builds of SQL Server 2005, known as Community Technical Preview editions, in order to collect additional feedback. A developer edition of the first CTP is being made available to MSDN Universal, Enterprise and Professional subscribers, as well as participants in Microsoft's Technology Adoption Program.
In March, Microsoft pushed back the release date of SQL Server 2005, code-named Yukon, from the end of this year to the first half of 2005 . The original projected ship date for the product had been late 2003.
In a July interview, Flessner attributed the delay to the depth of the integration between SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005. He pledged then that the company would deliver "more regular releases" of the database in the future.

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