Microsoft Corporation announced Monday the worldwide availability of SQL Server 2000 Beta 2, a feature-complete preview of the next version of SQL Server. SQL Server 2000, code-named "Shiloh," features a slew of improvements and new features, including end-to-end support for XML, an integrated and improved data-mining engine, new clustering and scaling features, and more. The data-mining engine, which was previously known as OLAP Services ("Plato"), is simpler and easier to use while adding support for clustering and decision tree data-mining algorithms. And a new Analysis Services feature provides easy access to Web data and analysis.
"SQL Server 2000 will anchor \[the Windows DNA 2000\] platform by delivering unequaled support for Web technologies, deeply integrating business intelligence features, and making software scale a reality for the most demanding e-commerce scenarios," said Paul Flessner, the vice president of database and middleware development at Microsoft.
Aside from the Web development improvements in SQL Server 2000, scalability is probably the big story with this release. SQL 2000 includes a new Distributed Views feature that allows customers to divide the workload across multiple, independent SQL Servers. Four-node failover clustering and log shipping is now supported and database views can now be indexed, allowing for higher performance reporting. SQL Server 2000 integrates fully with Windows 2000 Active Directory, if installed, providing administrators with a single point of management.
If you're interested in SQL Server 2000, please visit the product's Web site for more product information and instructions for obtaining a copy (this wasn't available at the time of this writing, but it should become available sometime Monday). And MSDN Professional and Universal subscribers will automatically receive SQL Server 2000 Beta 2. I'll be reviewing SQL Server 2000 and the SQL Server 2000 Technical Reviewer's Conference that I attended earlier this month on the SuperSite for Windows soon