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Microsoft debuts new-generation business platform

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Microsoft has announced the release to manufacturing of Microsoft SQL Server
2008, the new version of the company's database management system. This
version of SQL Server provides powerful new capabilities such as support for
policy-based management, auditing, large-scale data warehousing, geospatial
data, and advanced reporting and analysis services.

SQL Server 2008 doesn't get the same attention as some of its more glamorous
stablemates, but it's the cornerstone of the modern business: it's the bit
that makes sense of the information explosion by not only storing
mission-critical information, but delivering the right information to all of
its users – the basis for competitive advantage in today's business world.
It also reduces the time and cost involved in managing data, says Manoj
Bhoola, the executive for the Server & Tools business at Microsoft SA.
"It's an inescapable truth of business today: to take advantages of new
opportunities, companies need the ability to create and deploy data-driven
solutions quickly. SQL Server 2008 reduces time and cost of management and
development of applications, and provides a comprehensive platform
delivering intelligence where your users want it," says Bhoola.
"Microsoft developed this release of SQL Server with the customer in mind.
SQL Server 2008 is the only major database that includes comprehensive,
tightly integrated functionality for data management as well as advanced
business intelligence out of the box. By offering a complete solution, we
save customers time and money and allow them to focus on deriving the most
value from their data assets."
Microsoft is setting up SQL Server 2008 to provide a secure, reliable, and
scalable data platform that enables enterprises to:
* Run their most demanding mission-critical applications;
* Accelerate the development of the next generation of applications;
* Store and consume any type of data; and
* Deliver actionable insight to everybody within the organisation.
Himal Ramjee, a director at systems integrator iSolve, said businesses were
selecting SQL Server 2008 because they could entrust it with their critical
business applications. "SQL Server 2008 is highly secure and reliable, and
offers the best value on the market today. In addition, it accelerates the
time frame for deploying new features and enhancements, and that to us makes
SQL Server a winner," says Ramjee.
SQL Server has been well-received in the analyst community. Forrester
Research analyst Noel Yuhanna wrote in a January 2008 report, "The Forrester
Wave: Information-As-A-Service, Q1 2008," "Microsoft is (one of) the only
vendor(s) with top enterprise search and business intelligence reporting
capabilities. It offers strong support for aggregation, summarization,
search engine and dashboards. Transactions across distributed data sources
and long-running transactions are also strengths for Microsoft."
"We want to help our customers better manage mission-critical systems.
Organisations need security and a trusted platform that can support their
most demanding applications and provide predictable performance for all of
their applications. We are focused on delivering this core functionality for
our customers while at the same time extending our TCO leadership," says
Bhoola.
Over the past decade, SQL Server has evolved from a workgroup product into
an enterprise database that can compete with rivals such as Oracle and DB2.
Most of the growth in the database market is in business intelligence,
analytics and other data warehousing applications, and Microsoft is working
on a range of ground-breaking technologies in those areas, such as
column-based storage for faster data retrieval.
Addressing the strong momentum in the business intelligence market, SQL
Server 2008 provides a scalable BI infrastructure that enables IT to drive
business intelligence throughout the organization by managing reports and
analyses of any size or complexity. SQL Server 2008 enables organizations to
efficiently deliver relevant, personalized reports to thousands of users in
the format and the location that makes the most sense for them. By enabling
the delivery of interactive, enterprise reports where users want them, the
number of users who can be reached with Reporting Services is greatly
expanded. This enables users to gain instant access to relevant information
that provides insight into what is going on within their respective business
areas, leading to in better, faster, and more relevant decisions.