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Microsoft Releases SQL Server 2000 Beta 2 to Customers

Next-Generation Database and Analysis Offering Helps Customers Build the Business Internet

REDMOND, Wash. -- April 24, 2000 - Microsoft Corp. today announced the worldwide availability of SQL Server™ 2000 beta release 2, giving customers the opportunity to start testing the next version of Microsoft's award-winning database. Having already established world-record performance and scalability, SQL Server 2000 is the complete database and analysis offering that enables customers to rapidly build the next generation of scalable e-commerce, line-of-business and data warehousing solutions.

Microsoft® SQL Server 2000 is fully Web-enabled with end-to-end support for Extensible Markup Language (XML) and a new, integrated data-mining engine, allowing customers to benefit from the efficiencies and opportunities offered by business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce. The Microsoft Windows® DNA platform, including SQL Server already leads in the business-to-business e-commerce industry with support from premier vendors such as Ariba Inc., Clarus Corp., Commerce One Inc., Concur Technologies Inc. and Intellisys Electric Commerce LLC, and with customers such as AirTouch Cellular, American Express Co., The Boeing Company, Dell Computer Corp., Healtheon/WebMD, Lucent Technologies Inc., MasterCard International Inc., Northern Telecom Ltd., Paccar Inc., Schlumberger Electronics Transactions, Siemens AG and Visa U.S.A. SQL Server 2000 will offer scalability and reliability for the largest Web and corporate applications through groundbreaking support for software scale-out, high-end hardware platforms and state-of-the-art networking and storage technologies. With the industry's most modern database architecture and deep integration with the Microsoft Windows DNA 2000 platform, SQL Server 2000 will offer the fastest time-to-market for building applications for the Business Internet, helping companies realize the possibilities of the digital economy.

"Microsoft Windows DNA 2000 is the most comprehensive integrated platform for building and deploying next-generation Web applications," said Paul Flessner, vice president, database and middleware development at Microsoft. "SQL Server 2000 will anchor this platform by delivering unequaled support for Web technologies, deeply integrating business intelligence features, and making software scale a reality for the most demanding e-commerce scenarios."

With 20 critical internal systems, including its worldwide sales data warehouse, already upgraded to SQL Server 2000, Microsoft expects over 200,000 customers to test the new version of its database. Those interested in ordering a copy of SQL Server 2000 beta 2 can visit the SQL Server Web site, at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/. Each subscriber to the Microsoft Developer Network, or MSDN™ -- a membership product delivering the latest programming tools, technologies and information to developers -- at the Professional or Universal level will automatically receive a copy of SQL Server 2000 beta 2.

"As part of Microsoft's Early Adopter Program, Turner Broadcasting has been working with SQL Server 2000 for several months and is very excited by its combination of scalability, sophisticated analysis features and Web functionality," said Matthew Drooker, vice president of systems development, Turner Broadcasting Sales Inc. "We look forward to going into production with SQL Server 2000 for some of our most mission-critical applications."

"Onyx is very excited about the value that SQL Server 2000 brings to our mutual customers," said Mary Reeder, vice president of research and development at Onyx Software. "The new features of SQL Server 2000 will enable Onyx Software to remain a leader in performance and scalability for enterprise CRM applications. In addition, the native XML support complements the Onyx e-Business Engine architecture and facilitates easy exchange of data between front-office and back-office systems. As an active participant in the beta program, we have seen firsthand Microsoft's commitment to building a quality product and a solid foundation for Onyx to deliver leading-edge solutions to customers."

Fully Web-Enabled for B2B E-Commerce

SQL Server 2000, in conjunction with the complete Windows DNA 2000 platform, will make it easier for corporations of any size to conduct business over the Web with customers and suppliers, and to integrate legacy systems with next-generation business solutions. Furthermore, SQL Server 2000 will help companies better understand customer behavior on the Web and quickly discover new business opportunities offered by a digital economy.

  • SQL Server 2000 delivers fully integrated, standards-based XML support that is flexible, high-performance and easy to use for Web developers and database programmers. Unlike competitive databases, SQL Server 2000 offers powerful tools for manipulating XML inside the database and enables developers to retrieve XML-based data from the database without writing code.
  • SQL Server 2000 and BizTalk™ Server 2000 support an integrated XML infrastructure that allows documents to be managed and routed from database applications through BizTalk Server 2000, across the enterprise and with valued trading partners.
  • Data mining automatically sifts through large volumes of business information, helping customers to identify untapped opportunities and to predict winning strategies and outcomes. By integrating a data-mining engine into SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services (formerly OLAP Services), Microsoft has vastly reduced the complexity of this sophisticated and powerful technology. Analysis Services includes clustering and decision tree data-mining algorithms and is easily extensible by third parties via OLE DB for Data Mining.
  • SQL Server 2000 enables high-performance, standards-based, secure access via the Web through HTTP, even through a firewall. Web-based clients retain full capabilities whether accessing the relational store or Analysis Services.
  • SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services includes unique, new features for analyzing Web click-stream data, performing closed-loop analysis, and sharing analysis results across the Web through firewalls.
  • Simplifying access to strategic data resources, SQL Server 2000 English Query allows end users of all skill levels to pose questions in English to the database via the Web. English Query translates a user's question into a proper database query and returns the desired results from the relational store or Analysis Services.

Highly Scalable and Reliable

With the most modern database architecture in the industry, SQL Server 2000 offers scalability and reliability for the most demanding Web and enterprise applications. As proof of this, SQL Server 2000 has achieved world-record performance for a number of industry benchmarks, including the Transaction Processing Performance Council's TPC-C benchmark, eclipsing competing products running on any hardware or operating system. SQL Server 2000 has also established the performance record on the Windows platform for the SAP R/3 Sales and Distribution (SD) standard application benchmark.

While SQL Server 2000 is designed to take advantage of recent and future innovations in high-end SMP hardware platforms, SQL Server 2000 will also deliver an initial installment of Microsoft's vision for software scale-out, the ability to distribute database workload across a cluster of commodity servers. Rather than replacing old systems with bigger, more expensive ones, software scale-out achieves scalability increases simply by adding additional commodity servers to a database cluster.

  • SQL Server 2000 introduces Distributed Partitioned Views, a feature that provides
    e-commerce customers with unlimited scalability by dividing workload across multiple, independent SQL Server-based servers.
  • Dramatically improving application performance, system scalability and reliability, SQL Server 2000 natively supports state-of-the-art, high-speed System Area Network (SAN) technology such as GigaNet's cLAN server farm network and Compaq's ServerNet 2.
  • Ensuring the highest levels of system availability, SQL Server 2000 tightly integrates four-node failover clustering and log shipping into its management console and setup wizard.
  • Supporting high-speed analysis of Web-scale datasets, SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services allows multidimensional queries against dimensions with hundreds of millions of members. SQL Server 2000 also introduces indexed views, a technology enabling high-performance reporting applications against relational databases.

Fastest Time-to-Market

Microsoft includes a broad set of technologies and tools as standard, integrated components of the database. Furthermore, through smart design and auto-tuning and auto-managing features, SQL Server 2000 will make it fast and easy for customers to reap the benefits of all these state-of-the-art Web and analysis technologies, and to gain competitive advantage through rapid delivery of applications.

  • Microsoft leads the industry in developing technology that allows database servers to tune and manage themselves, helping customers focus on strategic business initiatives rather than micro-managing technology. SQL Server 2000 extends this lead by introducing features that dynamically optimize for recent hardware innovations including large memory, ultra-high-speed disk subsystems and SANs.
  • The integration between SQL Server 2000 and the Active Directory™ service in Windows 2000 allows SQL Server databases to be managed centrally alongside other enterprise resources, vastly simplifying system management in large organizations.
  • SQL Server 2000 introduces significant new security enhancements for safeguarding data inside and outside the firewall. SQL Server 2000 supports powerful and flexible role-based security, includes tools for security auditing, and offers sophisticated file and network encryption.
  • With sophisticated new features in SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, such as custom rollups, flexible dimension architecture, and fine-grained security, Microsoft has made it easier for customers to build high-end, specialized business intelligence solutions for e-commerce businesses as well as the financial services, insurance, retail and manufacturing sectors.

Windows DNA 2000 and SQL Server

Microsoft Windows DNA is the most comprehensive, integrated platform for building and deploying applications for The Business Internet. The Windows 2000 operating system -- the core of Windows DNA -- includes built-in Internet services that enable developers to focus on adding value to their applications rather than building the underlying "plumbing." Other components include the Visual Studio® development system, SQL Server, the COM+ component and programming model, and other application services -- all best-of-breed products that make optimal use of the deepest developer talent pool in the industry.

Created by a world-class development team, Microsoft SQL Server is the leading database for the Windows platform and is the reliable, scalable database for rapidly building Web solutions with Windows DNA. SQL Server reduces the time required to bring e-commerce, business intelligence (data warehousing) and line-of-business applications to market while ensuring that these applications have the scalability needed for the most demanding environments.

 

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