Launch At Last? SQL Server, Visual Studio 2005 RTM Due Thursday

In addition, the Redmond, Wash.-based company said a Community Technical Preview of BizTalk Server 2006 will be available soon. BizTalk acts as the enterprise application integration engine for Microsoft. The new release is due out early next year, the software giant has said.

A formal launch for all three products is scheduled for Nov. 7 in San Francisco. The planned launch event is an indication that the long-delayed SQL Server database and Visual Studio tool set will be available--at least through some channels--at launch time.

However, some planned functionality, such as data mirroring in the database and the Team Foundation portion of Visual Studio, isn&'t slated to ship until the first quarter of next year, the company disclosed in September.

In recent years, since launching Software Assurance, Microsoft has taken a reverse approach to product delivery by cutting features out of products in order to meet ship dates, instead of holding off on release until a product is finished, as was often done previously, industry observers said.

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One Microsoft developer shrugged off the delay of those two pieces of functionality as insignificant to the overall platform, which has been under construction for four years.

"Of course, they'll use Visual Studio [VS] without Team Foundation Server [TFS] and SQL without mirroring," said Andrew Brust, chief of new technology at Citigate Hudson, New York, who&'s also a Microsoft regional director. "TFS and VS in general will have an adoption curve anyhow as they tie into customers&' processes, not just their tool sets. And data mirroring, though impressive, is a specialized capability, not a mass-market item.”

This story was updated Thursday afternoon to update the RTM date.

For a Visual Studio/SQL Server 2005 review by the CRN Test Center, click here.