Microsoft announced the arrival of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 at a special event in San Francisco Monday.
Microsoft had released an update for SQL Server five years ago. Both SQL Server and Visual Studio 2005 are critical releases for Microsoft as it gears up for the debut of Windows Vista next year.
The launch of Microsoft's SQL Server 2005 was delayed several times in the past. Steve Ballmer emphasized the major changes in the release and explained that Microsoft engineers needed time to to make the software more reliable and secure.
SQL Server 2005 can now handle up to 93,000 concurrent users, and integration with .NET Framework 2.0 brings "183 percent better performance than equivalently coded EJB-applications running on IBM WebSphere 6.0 against and Oracle 10G backend," Microsoft says. Microsoft has added built-in reporting and data analysis tools and will soon launch Business Scorecard Manager 2005 to extend that functionality. SQL Server will also offer better integration with Microsoft Office and Visual Studio.
Workgroup Edition of SQL Server is priced at $3,899 per processor, with the Standard release now running $1,000 more at $5,999. SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition remains the same at $24,999 per processor.
However, Microsoft will make available a free "Express" version of SQL Server 2005 to developers and for non-commercial use. Visual Studio 2005 Express, meanwhile, will run $49 USD.
Along with SQL Server, Microsoft also launched Visual Studio 2005, a software tools program used to create applications, and said it would launch a program for tracking business processes, called BizTalk Server 2006, next year. Specifically, Visual Studio 2005 boasts improved performance and security to build what Microsoft calls "enterprise-grade" applications, along with a new Team System element to facilitate collaboration within a development group. But Visual Studio Team System won't come cheap, with pricing starting at $10,939.