Data Storage To Headline Confab


Commerce Server update also on agenda


Web services aren't worth the protocols they're running on if the underlying data isn't accurate, up-to-date and available.

For that reason, Microsoft plans to talk about its evolving storage architecture during its TechEd conference this week as company executives try to position .Net Web services as both a reality now and a bigger, better reality later.


Microsoft Senior Vice President Eric Rudder will discuss Web services in a keynote.

The next version of the SQL Server database, code-named Yukon, is on the agenda, but "this is more than a database, this is storage," said Teri Palanca, an analyst at Giga Information Group. "Yukon will be the point where all their file systems get replaced, where the database is .Net-enabled, where there is more shared-nothing [architecture, more partitioning."

Microsoft is building a "smart object" store,a fundamental storage engine that can handle abstracted data as well as relational data, said one Microsoft partner who requested anonymity. "You basically put what you want in there, and the database figures out what it is and how to handle it."

James Phillips, vice president of product management at Actional, a Microsoft ISV partner based in Mountain View, Calif., said, "My accounting information, my prospect list, how that is stored, the tools available to mine it, the ability to create applications that leverage it is key."

 
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Microsoft also intends to unveil Commerce Server 2002, sporting tighter integration with Visual Studio .Net and BizTalk Server, said sources briefed on TechEd. The company is considering a bundle of Commerce Server, Host Integration Server, Content Management Server and BizTalk Server, said other briefed sources.

In addition, Microsoft plans to reveal that business-intelligence company SAS Institute, Cary, N.C., has joined Microsoft and Hyperion Solutions as co-chairs of a group backing XML For Analysis, a specification for querying multidimensional databases.

Microsoft is also working on a Visual Studio .Net-hosted business-intelligence authoring tool that would help developers build interactive, complex data visualizations, according to Microsoft documents.