Windows IT Pro and SQL Server Magazine announced the winners of the 4th annual Best of TechEd Awards at an evening ceremony on Wednesday, June 8, 2005, in Orlando. Kim Paulsen, group publisher for Windows IT Pro, presented awards to Windows and SQL technology vendors in 11 categories and announced an overall Best of TechEd winner.

The field included more than 260 entries. Best of TechEd judges Mike Otey, technical director for Windows IT Pro and SQL Server Magazine, and Adam Carheden, products and technology editor for Windows IT Pro, evaluated products based on their strategic importance in the market, competitive advantage, and value to the customer. The categories included Business Intelligence, Database Development, Development Tools, Hardware Solutions, Messaging, Mobile Solutions, Productivity and Collaboration, Security, Software Components and Middleware, Systems Management, most innovative product, and one overall winner.

The Overall Best of TechEd Award went to AMD’s Opteron. “This technology sets the stage for the next generation of computing. With the recent release of its dual core 64-bit processors, this company has firmly established itself as the leader in CPU technology,” said judge Mike Otey. “AMD’s new dual core chips are currently shipping and provide immediate performance boosts for server and desktop applications with no increases in power consumption or changes in the system’s hardware.”

The winner in the Business Intelligence category was ProClarity’s Analytics Platform. “This product continues to be a leader in the area of business intelligence. Its unique data visualizations enable the analyst and user to explore data relationships and transform data into information that can be used to make business decisions,” commented Otey. “It is fully integrated with SQL Server 2000 and 2005 Analysis Services and Reporting Services, and its scalable architecture makes it well suited for enterprise-level deployments.”

The Database Development category winner was Red Gate Software’s SQL Developer Bundle. “This product adds several essential features to the tools provided by SQL Server’s Enterprise Manager, including the ability to compare and synchronize database schema, as well as data, between two different databases. In addition, this product has a SQL Toolkit that enables the DBA or developer to automate data and schema comparisons using command line APIs,” said Otey.

Identify’s AppSight took the award for the Development Tools category. “Developers know that it takes longer to find and reproduce problems than to fix them. This product directly addresses this costly fact of development by recording everything from the user view to method invocations and network traffic,” said judge Adam Carheden. “When a problem occurs, users can go directly to the line of code executing. This product extends the debugging power of IDE to any instance of the application.”

The Hardware category winner was HP ProLiant DL580 G3. “This product is an advanced highly scalable platform that enables business to take full advantage of the most up-to-date server technologies,” said Otey. “It provides fully redundant hardware such as hot-plug RAID and power supplies and is an ideal platform for server consolidation, as well as enterprise Exchange and database implementations.”

The Messaging category winner was Adomo’s Voice Messaging for Exchange. “Disparate messaging platforms are a drain on user activity. By seamlessly integrating voicemail with email, this product creates a step toward integrated messaging and through a solution that is simple and seamless for both users and administrators,” said Carheden.

The Mobile category winner was Extended Systems’ OneBridge Mobile Data Suite. “This product is a complete solution for companies going mobile. It provides tools both for developers extending enterprise applications to mobile devices and for the IT pros who manage them,” commented Carheden.

The Productivity and Collaboration category winner was Quest’s Collaboration Services for Exchange. “This product enables disparate Exchange organizations to share Global Address Lists and free/busy information without trusts or complicated federation solutions,” said Carheden. “It provides a quick and effective method for enabling information workers to communicate with business partners and provides an alternative to costly migration.”

The Security winner was eIQNetwork’s Security Analyzer. “This product provides real-time security monitoring that protects the network from security threats and also helps businesses meet security auditing compliance regulations. It performs a wide range of security tests and correlates security events and provides security log archiving and reporting,” said Otey.

Skelta Software’s SharePoint Workflow Accelerator was the winner in the Software Components and Middleware category. “This product empowers business users to drive business processes through web and email with minimal effort from developers,” commented Carheden.

The Systems Management category winner was Configuresoft’s Enterprise Configuration Manager. “This product provides the administrator with almost complete control for enterprise configuration management,” said Otey. “It enables cross-platform management and can control and automate the tasks of monitoring, managing, and auditing hardware and software configurations for both the servers and clients that comprise the organization.”

This year the judges chose to award a new category, the Most Innovative Product of Best of TechEd, which was Motion Computing’s LE1600 Tablet PC. “We were impressed with this laptop’s ultra mobile tablet form factor, built-in fingerprint reader, and its superior screen, which is able to display in direct sunlight. This is a laptop that every IT Pro would love to have,” commented Carheden.