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It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Katmai

If Microsoft does not release the CTP of Katmai, aka SQL Server 2008, at TechEd next week, it's going to have some explaining to do.

If Microsoft does not release the CTP of Katmai, aka SQL Server 2008, at TechEd next week, it's going to have some explaining to do.

But it looks like the beta (okay, CTP) drop will be the news at the annual Tech Ed confab in Orlando, kicking off Monday with a keynote by Bob Muglia, maestro of the ServerTools group. (And also the de facto maestro of Katmai.)

On May 9, Microsoft said the first CTP (don't call it a beta!) of the much-anticipated database would be out "within a month." Let's check the calendar. TechEd kicks off Monday, June 4 in Orlando. Sounds about right.

"I would say [the CTP's] a good bet for TechEd, but then again I think Microsoft wanted it out by now," said one long-time SQL Server partner.

TechEd sessions on "the next release of Microsoft SQL Server" include an overview, one on Data Warehousing Enhancements, another on manageability, another on spatial support, another on new T-SQL system types, and yet another on new T-SQL programmability features.

Last fall, Paul Flessner told CRN that inclusion of non relational data—including images and audio--would be a growing focus in SQL Server. Flessner was senior vice president of data and storage platforms.

Microsoft has been talking up Katmai's "beyond relational" in recent weeks. But the company is under the gun to deliver what has been promised and one of those promises to database partners was that it will deliver major releases in 36-month cycles. The current SQL Server 2005 shipped in November, 2005. The gap between that version and its predecessor was five years—too long, Microsoft has acknowledged.

So the company needs ot meet a fall 2008 ship date for Katmai or risk further fallout

In the meantime, Oracle is slated to release its promised Oracle 11g database this summer. 11g has been in beta since last fall and while SQL Server has made headway against Oracle's database dominance in departments in enterprises and SMBs, the Redwood Shores, Calif. company remains the database player to beat.

For its part, Oracle has been talking up the ability of its current 10G release to support Resource Description Framework, the W3C-backed method of describing metadata—or the data about the data—in a way that makes that information more easily found and utilized.

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