Microsoft Sets Launch Date for Three Key Products

SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006 will be formally launched during the week of Nov. 7, according to Paul Flessner, senior vice president of Server Applications at Microsoft at this week’s Microsoft TechEd 2005.

"By delivering an application platform for connected systems, these products will help jump-start growth in IT by enabling customers and partners to [use] new tools to increase operational efficiencies and become more competitive,” Flessner said in a keynote address.

Flessner highlighted customer and partner momentum for Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 and touted the first public Community Technology Preview for SQL Server 2005, business intelligence functionality for SQL Server 2005, SQL Server Migration Assistant, and the first benchmarks for SQL Server 2005. Flessner also outlined Microsoft's RFID initiative.

Flessner said Microsoft is helping developers and IT professionals adjust to rapidly evolving business requirements by providing unprecedented developer productivity, connecting customers, partners and employees with the information they need to drive better business and buying decisions, and ensuring readiness to handle the most demanding mission-critical applications.

Microsoft has eight customers that have also put SQL Server 2005 into production, and Microsoft expects more than 20 customers will have implemented SQL Server 2005 by the launch. Microsoft also continues to deploy SQL Server 2005 internally, with more than 80 applications that store and analyze multiple terabytes of data.

About 40 partners, including Altiris, Computer Associates, DeKlarit, Quest Software and Red Gate Software, have announced plans to support Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005.

Microsoft released the June Community Technology Preview SQL Server 2005. It’s the first prerelease version of SQL Server 2005 and can be downloaded at With this CTP, customers and partners will be able to test the BI components included in SQL Server 2005. Flessner also said Microsoft will extend SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services from Standard and Enterprise Editions to all versions of SQL Server 2005, including Express and Workgroup Editions. In addition, SQL Server 2005 Report Builder will be available with Workgroup, Standard and Enterprise Editions.

Microsoft has released its SQL Server Migration Assistant designed to smooth a migration from Oracle to SQL Server. Flessner said Motorola, Simon & Schuster, Atento Brasil S/A and TransCanadian Pipelines have successfully migrated to SQL Server 2000 and saw up to 80 percent reduction in the manual processing associated with past migrations. The SQL Server Migration Assistant is available free at