The first beta release of Yukon, the next SQL Server version is due in early June at the TechEd 2003 trade show, but if recent reports are any indication, the oft-delayed product might not hit that milestone in time. If SQL Server Yukon does miss the TechEd boat, it won't be the first Microsoft product to do so: Most of the Office 2003 applications and Exchange Server 2003 were also originally scheduled to debut at the critical June show. But various delays tied to fit and finish work have hampered efforts to complete Office 2003, leading to a cascading series of delays that have affected many other products, including Windows Small Business Server 2003.

Though Microsoft had only publicly committed to a first half of 2003 release date for SQL Server Yukon Beta 1, the internal goal was to deliver the release at TechEd. In a CRN report, sources note that the early date of the TechEd show--which runs from June 1-6 in Dallas, Texas--might preclude Microsoft from delivering Yukon in time. But Stan Sorensen, Director of SQL Server Product Management, says the company will still hit Beta 1 before the end of the month.

Technology from the Yukon database will be used to implement WinFS (Windows Future Storage), an NTFS file system add-on that Microsoft will deliver in Longhorn, the next Windows version, which is due in 2005. Yukon itself will offer better security, backup, and security features; new integration with .NET, XML and Web services; support for programming language independent stored procedures; and other features.