Although Microsoft has committed to a May or June beta of SQL Server 7, code-named "Sphinx," the company admitted that no date has been set for the release and that it could be released in 1998. Key features of the new version include:
- A version for Windows 95 users that will feature replication with backend server databases.
- The ability to store HTML forms directly.
- Stored procedures can be written in Visual Basic or Java.
- Web-based management.
- A multi-server management function will enable the scheduling of jobs on multiple servers from a single console.
- The query processor will be separated from the database.
- New data types will be supported, such as video and audio.
- The processor is being rebuilt to allow more efficient queries and multiple indexing.