Last week I mentioned that I was eager to respond to Tony Scarpelli's comment about SQL Server Mobile and the documentation. Microsoft announced last Friday that this product, now officially named SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition (SSCE), had been released to manufacturing. The announcement noted, "This new offering provides essential relational database functionality in a compact footprint making it ideal for embedded databases solutions. It enables developers and administrators to apply their existing skills and be immediately productive while building and supporting the next generation of applications. As a result, SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition offers an appealing solution for today’s occasionally connected application environments."

I can imagine Tony smiling over that statement about being "immediately productive."

To be fair, the product was in beta when Tony was trying to make it work on a PocketPC, so the documentation was also still in development until last Friday's release. And I have to say that the SQL Server Book Online (BOL) docs have a much better reputation than most Microsoft documentation.

That dutifully said, I was told that a Microsoft representative would put me in touch with "somebody on the SQL Server Compact Edition team and see if they are able to help with the reader’s direct question (getting SSCE onto a Pocket PC) and the more general comment about our help documents." Of course, I’ll let you know what I find out.

Interoperability

Have you noticed Microsoft’s emphasis on interoperability in the last year? It seems like every product group I talk to has some kind of announcement about interoperability. And since we’re on the topic of SQL Server, let me tell you about the latest interop announcement from that group: “Microsoft and Teradata announced plans to improve interoperability between Microsoft’s Business Intelligence solutions and Teradata Data Warehousing technologies. The increased collaboration between the two companies’ technologies will help information workers gain access to, analyze and report on critical data more quickly, and help IT professionals streamline the delivery of business intelligent applications.

“As part of this alliance, Microsoft and Teradata are collaborating on integration between the Teradata Enterprise Data Warehouse and Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services targeting availability at the end of the first quarter of 2007.  In addition, joint collaboration and integration efforts with Teradata will include SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services, SQL Server 2005 Integration Services, and the 2007 Microsoft Office system including Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007.  The world-wide partnership includes joint sales and marketing activities across multiple industries, beginning with the retail sector.”

I’d love to hear what interoperability topics you’re interested in. We’re in the midst of planning content for our interoperability Web site, www.techxworld.com. Senior Editor Lavon Peters (lpeters@penton.com) is responsible for developing out the content and the community on this site, so please let me or Lavon know what to focus on.

Exchange 2007

Last Friday and yesterday, I had some really fun conversations with representatives of Microsoft IT and Microsoft’s Customer Service & Support organization (CSS) about Microsoft’s experiences with deploying and supporting Exchange 2007. Derek Ingalls, senior director of the messaging group and Konstantin Ryvkin, senior systems engineer at Microsoft IT, gave me lots of great information that will become a Hey Microsoft column in the magazine, and I’ll write more about it in this blog in the coming week. Derek and Konstantin said that the most important thing to do when you migrate to Exchange 2007 is to plan out your whole move. Does that sound incredibly obvious? Well, moving to a whole new platform (64-bit) and all the complexities of the new Exchange roles and integration with your existing AD infrastructure sound like a really good reasons to take planning very seriously.

Yesterday’s conversation with Jim Lucey and Clarence Satchell, both of whom are CSS program managers, was not only informative, but I also learned about Microsoft Exchange Server Risk Assessment and Health Check Program (ExRAP). This is a health-check service for Premier customers that Microsoft specifically designed to support Exchange Servers. I’ll be giving you details on this cool program, too. I’m curious to hear from any of you who’ve participated in this program and to learn what you think about it.
Enough for today!