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SQL Server To Ship This Quarter: Should It?

Six weeks ago I raised the question: Will SQL Server 2008 slip again? The skepticism arose because Microsoft announced plans to release Service Pack 3 SP3 of SQL Server 2005.

Also raising doubts were testers of SQL Server 2008, saying there were still numerous bugs in the CTP. But Redmond officials insisted that SQL Server 2008 was still on track to be released to manufacturing in the third quarter and urged testers to report any bugs.

Now it appears it won't slip. At yesterday at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, the company said the database is on pace to be released by September 30th.

Fausto Ibarra, Microsoft's new director of product management for SQL Server, told me that he is quite confident that SQL Server 2008 will be ready to ship.

"The release candidate we have is feature complete, so our customers and partners can try out absolutely everything SQL Server offers," Ibarra says.

Still, among those who had raised doubts back in May was Andrew Brust, chief of new technology at twentysix New York, speaking at a meeting of the NYC .NET User Group, a user group he not so coincidently founded. I asked Brust for his reaction of Microsoft's latest announcement.

"There is mounting evidence that a Q3 RTM is the reality," Brust said in an e-mail, though he remains skeptical. "I'm still dubious, but that might be irrational at this point. I would, in any case, greatly prefer to see one more RC before RTM. That would raise my comfort level enormously."

It's not clear, however, whether Brust will see his comfort level rise. While Microsoft's Ibarra hasn't ruled out another release candidate, he sounded quite comfortable with the stability with the current build.

"We are getting some reports of bugs," he admits. "It's usual -- it's actually a small number. By now the product is very solid. We already have a lot of customers in production, we have a lot of applications that Microsoft is running on SQL Server 2008, including SAP -- we all get paid because of SQL Server 2008. At this point we are just in the final stages of testing."

Ibarra says a decision whether to issue another release candidate will come within a few weeks. What's your take? Is SQL Server 2008 almost good to go? Drop me a line.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 07/10/2008

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