Evolution of SQL Server

SQL Server has evolved over the years into the product it is today. Summary of this process :

1988 - SQL Server - Joint application built with Sybase for use on OS/2.

1993 - SQL Server 4.2, a desktop database - A low-functionality, desktop database, capable of meeting the data storage and handling needs of a small department. The concept of a database that was integrated with Windows and had an easy-to-use interface proved popular.

1994 - Microsoft splits from Sybase.

1995 - SQL Server 6.05, a small business database - Major rewrite of the core database engine. First “significant” release. Improved performance and significant feature enhancements. Still a long way behind in terms of the performance and feature set of later versions, but with this version, SQL Server became capable of handling small ecommerce and intranet applications, and was a fraction of the cost of its competitors.

1996 - SQL Server 6.5 - SQL Server was gaining prominence such that Oracle brought out version 7.1 on the NT platform as direct competition.

1998 - SQL Server 7.0, a web database - Another significant rewrite to the core database engine. A defining release, providing a reasonably powerful and featurerich database that was a truly viable (and still cheap) alternative for small-to-medium businesses, between a true desktop database such as MS Access and the high-end enterprise capabilities (and price) of Oracle and DB2. Gained a good reputation for ease of use and for providing crucial business tools (e.g., analysis services, data transformation services) out of the box, which were expensive add-ons with competing databases.

2000 - SQL Server 2000, an enterprise database - Vastly improved performance scalability and reliability sees SQL Server become a major player in the enterprise database market (now supporting the online operations of businesses such as NASDAQ, Dell, and Barnes & Noble). A big increase in price (although still reckoned to be about half the cost of Oracle) slowed initial uptake, but the excellent range of management, development, and analysis tools won new customers. In 2001, Oracle (with 34% of the market) finally ceded its No. 1 position in the Windows database market (worth $2.55 billion in 2001) to SQL Server (with 40% of the market). In 2002, the gap had grown, with SQL Server at 45% and Oracle slipping to 27%.a

2005 - SQL Server 2005 - Many areas of SQL Server have been rewritten, such as the ability to load data via a utility called Integration Services, but the greatest leap forward was the introduction of the .NET Framework. This allowed .NET SQL Server–specific objects to be built, giving SQL Server the flexible functionality that Oracle had with its inclusion of Java.

2008 - SQL Server 2008 - The aim of SQL Server 2008 is to deal with the many different forms that data can now take. It builds on the infrastructure of SQL Server 2005 by offering new data types and the use of Language Integrated Query (LINQ). It also deals with data, such as XML, compact devices, and massive database installations, that reside in many different places. Also, it offers the ability to set rules within a framework to ensure databases and objects meet defined criteria, and it offers the ability to report when these objects do not meet this criteria.

Source of Information : Apress Beginning SQL Server 2008 for Developers From Novice to Professional


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