Microsoft’s Database-in-a-Pocket

SANFRANCISCO -- In his opening keynote address at the Professional Association forSQL Server (PASS) conference here, Paul Flessner, senior vice president ofMicrosoft’s .NET enterprise servers group, rolled out SQL Server 2000 WindowsCE Edition. The product builds on the company’s .NET strategy and the latestrelease of SQL Server – SQL Server 2000.

“[Thisproduct] is about developing an application that can be deploy across thebroadest reach of the enterprise. The focus a lot of times is on the high-enddata center and the big database, but the reality is that there are plentyfewer of those applications -- even though they are high visibility -- thanthere are applications that run in regional offices, all across the country inthose small regional offices,” Flessner said in a post-keynote briefing with ENT.

SQL Serverfor Windows CE is for hand-held devices and offers flexible access toenterprise data, Flessner said. Like SQL Server 2000 for the enterprise, theproduct is a full relational database management system, but it offers wirelessHTTP support and has a 1 MB footprint.

In hisspeech, Flessner talked up several features of the new product. Some of theseinclude a remote data access feature that enables data access between the CEdevice and versions of SQL Server 6.5 and up; the ability to store data locallyon the device; and the ability to use a database password and data encryptionto protect data on the device. The CE Edition can connect to InternetInformation Server (IIS) over an Internet connection and can use Secure SocketsLayer to encrypt data over the wire. It can also access SQL Server 2000 frombeyond a firewall.

Otherfeatures include embedded Visual Basic (VB) in the software, merge replication,and central administration from SQL Server 2000 in the enterprise.

With theembedded VB, applications can be extended to CE devices by developers whoprogram in the C++ and Visual Basic languages. Merge replication allows the CEuser to replicate data back to SQL Server 2000 that is obtained while notconnected to SQL Server 2000. The CE version also enables IT to set up asubscription database, that lets the device receive only data from SQL Server2000 that is relevant to the user -- without replicating the entire databaseonto the device. To do this, SQL Server for Windows CE employs dynamichorizontal partitions that control what sets of data come to the device, thiscan be specific to the device and can be changed by IT at any time.

“We reallywant customers to know that they can leverage their developer experience in SQLServer and have the broadest possible reach of the market. If you know SQL andyou know ADL in our programming APIs, you can write the TerraServer applicationwith multiple terabytes of data, or you can write the Windows CE applicationand have a hand-held device experience,” Flessner told ENT.

Licensingof SQL Server 2000 Windows CE Edition will require users to purchase SQL Server2000 Developers Edition at a cost of $499. This will give them one developerlicense for unlimited deployment. Users can then go to the Microsoft SQL Serversite and download the CE edition.

The CE newswas largely the focus of Flessner’s keynote speech, but he also took some timeto look at what SQL Server 2000 is currently bringing to the table, as well aswhat is on tap for the subsequent release of SQL Server 2000 -- code namedYukon.

Notimetable has been set for Yukon, but Flessner commented on some of functionalitythat is to be included.

Expect tosee full integration with .NET, language innovation -- including a VisualStudio-based development environment -- a data warehouse builder, file systemsupport, the ability to ship files, and “much more XML work,” Flessner said.

Index:
Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash., www.microsoft.com