Sidebar: Microsoft Revamps SQL Server's Data-Movement Tools

SEATTLE -- At the Community Summit conference held here last week by the Professional Association for SQL Server, Microsoft Corp. said it's redesigning the data extraction, transformation and loading tools built into the database as part of its upcoming Yukon release.

Gordon Mangione, the vice president in charge of SQL Server at Microsoft, said the Yukon version of the software's Data Transformation Services (DTS) technology will include new features designed to make it easier for users to move information between databases and build data warehouses.

Microsoft is boosting the parallelism of DTS so database administrators can do multiple data-movement tasks simultaneously or in one continuous process, Mangione said. For instance, an administrator will be able to seamlessly translate data from one format to another, cleanse the information and map it to a database.

The company is also adding a new application programming interface for SQL Server developers who want to use Visual Basic or its .Net tools without having to master DTS-specific code. And scalability is being increased so Yukon can execute procedures involving large loads of data in seconds instead of minutes, Mangione said.

He added that about 10,000 copies of the beta-test version of Yukon have been downloaded by users since the code was released in July.

Rebecca Lewis, director of systems at financial software vendor Townsend Analytics Ltd. in Chicago, is among the users who have started testing Yukon. She said the added extraction, transformation and loading features could enable Townsend to eliminate several custom-written middleware applications.

On the other hand, Dendreon Corp. is being patient about the advent of Yukon. "We're not overly anxious for it," said Dan Slyfield, a database administrator at the Seattle-based biotechnology company. "Generally, we're not an early adopter for new technology and don't bring it into the company until its functionality has been proven."

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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