The Evolution of SQL Server
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 is a significant release because it continues to build upon the framework Microsoft created with SQL Server 7.0. It has become the database of choice for e-Business and data warehousing initiatives, and it continues to set the standard for performance, ease-of-use, and out-of-the-box functionality. Also, SQL Server 2000 is a supporting component to the Microsoft.NET strategy. Those administrators who are upgrading from previous versions will be very pleased with the 2000 product and all that it has to offer.
History of SQL Server
In 1988, Microsoft released its first version of SQL Server. It was designed for the OS/2 platform and was developed jointly by Microsoft and Sybase. During the early 1990s, Microsoft began to develop a new version of SQL Server for the NT platform. While it was under development, Microsoft decided that SQL Server should be tightly coupled with the NT operating system. In 1992, Microsoft assumed core responsibility for the future of SQL Server for NT. In 1993, Windows NT 3.1 and SQL Server 4.2 for NT were released. Microsoft's philosophy of combining a high-performance database with an easy-to-use interface proved to be very successful. Microsoft quickly became the second most popular vendor of high-end relational database software. In 1994, Microsoft and Sybase formally ended their partnership. In 1995, Microsoft released version 6.0 of SQL Server. This release was a major rewrite of SQL Server's core technology. Version 6.0 substantially improved performance, provided built-in replication, and delivered centralized administration. In 1996, Microsoft released version 6.5 of SQL Server. This version brought significant enhancements to the existing technology and provided several new features. In 1997, Microsoft released version 6.5 Enterprise Edition. In 1998, Microsoft released version 7.0 of SQL Server, which was a complete rewrite of the database engine. In 2000, Microsoft released SQL Server 2000. SQL Server version 2000 is Microsoft's most significant release of SQL Server to date. This version further builds upon the SQL Server 7.0 framework. According to the SQL Server development team, the changes to the database engine are designed to provide an architecture that will last for the next 10 years.
Rather than listing all the new features and enhancements found in 2000, I've decided to list my favorite changes. The remainder of this chapter is dedicated to discussing these new features found in version 2000.