Microsoft Corp fired its latest salvo at Oracle Corp yesterday, announcing that 50,000 users will receive the newly-announced SQL Server version 7.0 beta 3.
Both SQL Server 7.0 and Oracle 8.1 are due to ship in late 1998, and Microsoft is targeting Oracle's stamping ground, the enterprise market.
Redmond claims that new benchmarks confirm SQL Server 7.0 delivers best of breed performance with applications on NT Server from Baan, PeopleSoft and SAP AG. The big ERP suppliers have been collaborating on SQL Server through Microsoft's Alliance for Data Warehousing.
Rich Tong, Microsoft's vice president of applications and tools, said this beta, "delivers the complete SQL Server 7.0 feature set...and accompanied by strong performance and stability [it] will give tens of thousands of beta customers a superb out-of-the-box experience."
New or enhanced features include Universal Data Access to develop multi-tier, enterprise applications that require access to both relational and non-relational data. Components interact using the OLE DB system-level interfaces, replacing DB Library as the internal interface for all SQL Server database operations.
Cost-of-ownership is addressed with multi-server single-console management; event-based job execution and alerting; integrated security; administrative scripting and new auto-configuration features.
On the datawarehousing front, Microsoft's new features include dynamic row-level locking, intra-query parallelism, distributed query, very large database enhancements. As expected, Plato, Microsoft's online analytical processing (OLAP) server, is fully integrated in beta 3.
SQL Server 7.0 beta 3 is shipping now and available from July 2 at www.microsoft.com/sql/beta/.
For its part, Oracle laid out its strategy directions for 8.1 earlier this year. It is Java. Larry Ellison, chairman and CEO, said that Oracle 8.1 would be Java 300% - Java on clients, on application servers and on databases.
He committed to incorporating Sun's Enterprise JavaBeans to run compiled Java code and improve application performance. A Java Virtual Machine will support Java as a language for stored procedures, running next to the proprietary PL/SQL language, and 8.1 will contain a Corba-compliant object request broker to support SQLJ and enable SQL statements to be embedded in Java.
Oracle is also enhancing its datawarehousing capabilities, building marketing and technology relationships with data mining suppliers, including Angoss Software, SPSS, SRA International, Information Discovery, DataMind and Thinking Machines. Their products are being integrated into 8.1.
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