Microsoft Gives Peek At Next Version Of SQL Server

The company shows off Katmai, the next version of its data platform, at its first business intelligence conference.

Microsoft is giving a sneak peek at the next version of its SQL Server data platform, code-named Katmai, as the company's first-ever business intelligence conference kicks off today.

Other than an under-the-radar presentation at a developer conference yesterday, this will be the first look the public gets at SQL Server Katmai, which Microsoft has thus far kept under tight wraps, dancing around release dates and feature details. However, Microsoft will announce today that SQL Server Katmai is due out in 2008 and will go into broad details about new features of the platform.

At the sold-out conference, the company also will announce that it has acquired technology within the last year from a company called SoftArtisans. That technology comes in the form of OfficeWriter, a product that brings data from SQL Server databases into Excel and Word documents, giving users the ability to author and view reports from within those programs. Office Writer will be integrated directly into Katmai. "Our vision is about providing pervasive data to all end users," says Ted Kummert, corporate VP of Microsoft's data and storage platforms. Katmai also will include other new integration points with Excel, Excel Services, SharePoint, and PerformancePoint.

In Katmai, Microsoft also will be adding support for more data types, consistent with a goal to bring SQL Server "beyond relational." The new data types Katmai will support include unstructured data such as files and imaging data, several new types for date and time, and a new "spatial" data type that can be used in location-based applications.

View: Information Week

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