Next SQL Server Stop: Katmai

As in Katmai. That's the internal name for the successor to Yukon--the soon-to-ship SQL Server 2005. In a PDC interview with CRN, none other than Bill Gates said that the WinFS server implementation will come sometime in the "Katmai" wave. At that time the WinFS client and server technology will unify all the various data repositories, he said.

If that moniker rings a bell it might be because it's already been used. Intel called the Pentium III chip the same thing. As in the national park in Alaska.

Speaking of code-names, the StoreSpy bonus app shipping with early WinFS bits is not the same as the one Microsoft talked about while back in the Longhorn context, according to WinFS guru Quentin Clark. (Although in some posts it sure sounds similar.). The current StoreSpy may or may not ship with the final WinFS client, Clark said.

Clark characterized StoreSpy, formerly code-named Matrix, as a sort of developers "playground."

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"We needed to show what it means to have unified contacts, what it means to be able to run joins across unlike types of data," Clark said.

Matrix, er StoreSpy, "has the data unified and a program model that gives you relationships between say contacts and calendar items so you can do sophisticated joins," he noted.

For example, you could pull up a list of messages with John Doe's name in the send field or in the text and then run that against a list of contacts or photos or documents and find other instances of your interaction with that person, regardless of the application that created the data or where it is stored..

Clark also demonstrated LifeJournal another "playground."

This tool puts bands of data across the screen, one maybe for email, one for photos. Then you can pull up a given period of time, from January 2004 to January 2005, and see a histogram representation of e-mail across that period in one band and maybe a graphical representation of photographs in another band.

The time frames can be collapsed or expanded to show a pattern of activity. Perhaps you post photographs of trade events, so you'd see a spike in activity every other fall representing PDC images. This capability could help show patterns of activity that are otherwise not discernable, he said.