Microsoft has promised a delivery date of November 7 for three of its most important applications: SQL Server, Visual Studio and BizTalk Server.
The company, well known for its numerous product delays and non-stop testing until the gold code is solid, promised to deliver the software updates this fall after an original launch of this summer was scrapped in favor of additional testing.
Andy Lees, corporate vice president of server and tools marketing and solutions for the company, said during his keynote at Tech Ed Europe 2005 conference in Amsterdam that SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006 would launch in San Francisco.
That's the opening of a flood gate: The Redmond giant will go on to host more than 90 global launch events in November to appropriately hype the new products to the public.
Developers have been expressing interest via blogs and other forums about the increased interoperability and developer productivity of the new software.
For example, SQL Server 2005 features greater XML support, new business intelligence tools and other perks to boost the operation of the software. The company recently added SQL Server 2005 JDBC Driver to let Java and Java SE applications interoperate with SQL Server through the Java standard for Database Connectivity.
Offered as a pair because of their tight integration, Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 will be deployed by more than 20 customers, including AB Sandvik Coromant, Nationwide Building Society and Austrian Broadcasting Corp. Radio & Television (ORF), before the launch.
Lees said Visual Studio 2005 and ASP.NET 2.0 will let programmers create documents that conform to Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)'s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Moreover, Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System will boast increased integration with Outlook to allow developers to create new custom applications on top of Microsoft Office. Developers can download the latest beta of Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System.
Microsoft also announced a SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services Report Pack for Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003. The update features eight predefined reports that allow keyword searches and monitor disk allocation and Web site usage.
The new SQL Server Reporting Services Report Pack for Axapta 3.0 allows users to gauge customer relationship activity, plan purchase orders and track invoices.
Separately at Tech Ed Europe, Microsoft announced the Active Directory Interoperability Program, which includes the Active Directory Password Change Notification Service for use by software vendors.
Among the new tools are a new OpenLDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) management agent for Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003 (MIIS) and new third-party support for Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS).