A leading research company claims it has found "class-one bugs" in the latest version of Microsoft SQL Server.
According to Bloor Research, in tests SQL Server 6.5 crashed consistently.
John Sniadowski, an analyst at Bloor involved in the testing, said: "By my definition that is a class-one bug."
The tests sought to compare the user load capacity of the Microsoft product against IBM's DB2, running under NT. SQL Server 6.5 appeared to "idle" as more users were added to the system, unlike DB2, said Bloor.
The researcher believed part of the problem with SQL Server lies with its relationship to NT. According to Sniadowski, NT seems to have "carnal knowledge" of the SQL Server queries being sent by users. In other words, the database appears to be trying to exploit undocumented features in the operating system.
Bloor also slammed the scalability of SQL Server. Last November, the company criticised the scalability of NT in a report, The Enterprise by Other Means.
Bloor said it encountered performance problems with SQL Server once the number of users logged on to the database reached 17. "The database spent a lot of time not doing anything," said Sniadowski. The database was running on a high specification, quad-Pentium Compaq Proliant equipped with 512Mb of RAM.
Microsoft disputed Bloor's findings. Karen Green, SQL Server product manager, maintained: "I do not know how Bloor did the evaluation, but the figures just do not stack up. It's so easy to bring a database to its knees if you don't know what you are doing."
Bloor's findings are contained in a new report, The Realities of Scalability.
It will be published in two weeks, time priced at #280.
If Bloor is correct in its assumptions, Microsoft is cheating in order to improve the performance of SQL Server. This would be totally unacceptable and very worrying. In the interest of openness, undocumented API calls simply should not exist, particularly in a world increasingly reliant on Microsoft for its operating system needs.
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