Hyping it as 'the most strategic product introduction this year', Microsoft this week [subbed] announced the availability of its new enterprise database, SQL Server 7.0.
According to Terry Clancy, product and marketing manager for enterprise data access, SQL Server 7.0 is 'a breakthrough release [that] marks the beginning of the new generation of database technology'.
Claiming significant improvements in performance over SQL Server 6.5, Microsoft officials claim the main areas of improvement in SQL Server 7.0 are scalability, throughput, storage capacity, availability and optimisation for applications.
Microsoft Australia expects that up to 300 SQL Server 7.0-based applications will be introduced across 20 vertical and horizontal sectors within 30 days of its release, owing to an Australia-wide comprehensive pre-release SQL Server introduction and education program.
According to Clancy, several 'early adopters' - including Western Australia's Health Department and Microsoft - already operate live on SQL Server 7.0.
SQL Server 7.0 will be available in the reseller channel within the next 45 days.
Initially being offered in English, it will also be made available in French, German, Spanish and Japanese within 60 days, Microsoft officials said.
The Standard Edition of SQL Server 7.0 will be available in three configurations, ranging from a five-user system for $2,319 to a 25-user system priced at $6,639.
SQL Server 7.0 Enterprise Edition also will be available in three iterations, starting at $13,269 for a 25-user system and ranging to $48,069 for a 250-user system.
SQL Server 7.0 Desktop is available as part of SQL Server 7.0 and SQL Server 7.0 Enterprise Edition and is not available separately. Usage of the desktop edition requires a per-seat client access license.