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Will VSTS 2010 Drive SQL Server 2008 Upgrades?

With Microsoft this week adding more information about its plans for the next release of its Visual Studio Team System, it bears noting that those that were not keen on upgrading from SQL Server 2005 to the new 2008 release may need to reconsider that stance.

That's because those who upgrade to TFS "Rosario" will need to use SQL Server 2008, as reported by my colleague Redmond Developer News senior editor Kathleen Richards, who points to VSTS lead Brian Harry's blog. "That was a controversial decision, but it is a final decision," Harry writes. "The primary driving force behind it is that the Report Server feature in SQL Server 2008 is sooooo much improved over that in previous versions that we simply could not pass up taking advantage of it for Rosario."

But considering the substantial new reporting capabilities in SQL Server 2008 and the likely release date of VSTS 2010, there's a "compelling" case to be made for Microsoft's decision, according to Andrew Brust, chief of new technology at twentysix New York.

"While it's a tough call to tether one new release to another, and doing so risks alienating some users, it's also true that if Microsoft released a version of TFS that didn't take advantage of now-released SQL Server 2008 technology, that a year or so post-release, Rosario would look under-featured," Brust responded in an e-mail, when I asked how customers might react to this latest change.

Presuming Microsoft upholds its practice of including a SQL Server Standard Edition in TFS moving forward, there are organizations that have strict policies about allowing new releases into their shops. Brust believes that, too, should not be a show stopper for VSTS shops. "Even in corporate environments where new versions of SQL need to be approved before deployment, one could make the argument that SQL 2008 is an intrinsic component of TFS Rosario and would thus qualify for a "waiver" of sorts." 

Another point worth noting: Microsoft is rolling VSTS Database Edition into VSTS Developer Edition, and effective immediately those with Microsoft Software Assurance licenses can use both for the cost of one. The goal: get more traditional developers delving into the database and vice versa, said Dave Mendlen, Microsoft's director of developer marketing in an interview last week.

"Developers are more hybrid today than they were in the past ... this needs to work not just with the core source code but also with the database becoming more and more important to them," he said.

What's your take on these latest moves? Drop me a line.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 10/01/2008

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