Microsoft to Ship SQL Server Everywhere

A new embeddable, small-memory footprint version of the database engine that adds the ability to run on a PC or laptop.

On November 7, Microsoft shipped the latest update to its mobile device edition of SQL Server -- an embeddable, small-memory footprint version of the database engine that adds the ability to run on a PC or laptop.

SQL Server 2005 Everywhere Edition was announced in April by Senior Vice President of Server Applications Paul Flessner as the replacement for SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition, as well as its direct descendant. "It's the next generation of SQL Server Mobile," says Mark Jewett, senior product manager for SQL Server. Both versions provide a subset of full-scale SQL Server's features.

While SQL Server Mobile only runs on "mobile" devices, including smartphones, Pocket PCs and Tablet PCs, the new engine supports mobile devices as well as desktops and laptops.

Opening up the embedded database to run on desktops and laptops is a logical move, according to one analyst.

"I don't believe people are going to run real applications on their phones-the real target for this is on a laptop," says Donald Feinberg, vice president and distinguished analyst at research and advisory firm Gartner Inc.

Compelling Sequel
Like SQL Server Mobile, SQL Server Everywhere is embeddable and features a small memory footprint. "It's a viable embeddable database for desktops as well," says Jewett. For developers, the database engine can be distributed and deployed free of charge.

The idea is to deliver a database that is as easy to code against and deploy as Access, but that will run on multiple device types and will also support synchronization with SQL Server. In addition, the file format is compatible with the scaled-up versions of SQL Server.

Where isn't it appropriate to use SQL Server Everywhere? The answer, according to Microsoft documents, is "when you want to run as a service, when you need a multi-user database server or when you need the full functionality of SQL Server."

Market Move
Microsoft is currently second behind Sybase in the mobile database arena, but this release could help change that. "The real importance is that it's the same database everywhere, and that the connections and synchronization are everywhere," Feinberg says.

Feinberg says the only drawback with SQL Server Everywhere is its name. Competitor IBM's product is DB2 Everyplace, while Sybase's is called iAnywhere. "It's confusing," he says.

SQL Server 2005 Everywhere Edition will run on Windows XP (including Tablet and Media Center editions), Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 (Professional and Server) and on Windows CE, as well as on Windows Mobile 2003 and Windows Mobile 5.0.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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