Microsoft is prepping the first beta release of SQL Server 2003 (code-named Yukon) for release in February or March and will use feedback from the beta to determine the final release schedule. The long-awaited Yukon code base will usher in a new era on Microsoft's software-development roadmap; the company will incorporate the software into other projects, including the Windows Future Storage (WinFS) file system in the next Windows release (code-named Longhorn) and the data store for a future Microsoft Exchange Server release (code-named Kodiak). Microsoft will also issue the next major release of Visual Studio .NET to coincide with Yukon; a minor release (code-named Everett) will ship in early 2003 to coincide with Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) 2003.

Microsoft will deliver Yukon beta 1 to only 1500 testers, although a future release will be more widely available. Alpha code is being used inhouse and with select close partners, the company said. A key advance in this release is the ability to code stored procedures in any Visual Studio .NET-compatible programming language, thanks to full compatibility with the Microsoft .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR). This feature will make SQL Server more accessible and useful for developers.

Before Microsoft finalizes Yukon, however, the company will ship the final version of SQL Server 2000 64-bit Edition (code-named Liberty). The company will finalize this project in time for the April 2003 release of Win.NET Server, which includes various 64-bit editions.

Before Yukon is finalized, however, Microsoft will ship the final version of SQL Server 2000 64-bit Edition, code-named Liberty. Currently, the software giant finalize this project in time for the April 2003 release of Win.NET Server, which includes various 64-bit editions.