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SQL Server Gets a Service Pack

Microsoft today said it has updated its SQL Server 2005 database software, adding new management and mirroring tools to a product the company considers a cornerstone of its Windows Server platform.

The formal release comes two weeks after Microsoft Senior Vice President Paul Flessner promised that SQL Server 2005 will eventually allow users to access their data anytime from any device with SQL Server 2005.

SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 1 (SP1) includes database mirroring functionality and the new SQL Server Management Studio Express.

According to Microsoft's TechNet site, database mirroring transfers transaction log records from one server to another and can quickly fail over to the standby server.

Database administrators can code client applications to automatically redirect their connection information, and in the event of a failover, connect to the standby server and database.

The functionality ultimately lowers acquisition costs and reduces complexity for admins.

Simplicity and lower costs are two of the top goals of SQL Server 2005, which, as with databases from IBM and Oracle, socks away and serves files to corporate customers.

According to Flessner, SQL Server 2005 is evolving to handle the explosion in new-fangled applications, including those for mobile gadgets, such as mobile software for search, advertising and Internet-based television.

"We see you, our customers, requiring a data platform that can store and manage all of the different varieties of data, XML, e-mail, time/calendar, file, document, spatial, etc.," said Flessner in a letter earlier this month.

"You will be able to do this with security-enhanced rich services, such as: search, query, analysis, sharing, and synchronization. You will be able to access this data from birth to archive and on any device. So your smartphone will be able to work with a mega-service in the cloud."

SP1 also supports enterprise reporting, employing a Microsoft .NET Data provider for SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence and a new MDX Query Designer. This tool lets SAP customers create and manage reports on information inside any SAP data warehouse.

Other features of SP1 include SQL Server Management Studio Express, a graphical management tool for the company's free SQL Server Express Edition.

The tool complements the forthcoming SQL Server Everywhere Edition, targeted for storage on all types of computing clients.