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SQL Server on Linux

By Steve Jones, (first published: 2005/04/01)

A previous April Fools joke, but one of my favorites. Enjoy it today on this holiday - Steve.

I can't believe it. My sources at Micrsoft put out the word late yesterday that there is a project underway to port SQL Server to Linux!!

The exclusive word I got through some close, anonymous sources is that Microsoft realizes that they cannot stamp out Linus. Unlike OS/2 and the expensive, high end Unices, Linux is here to stay. Because of the decentralized work on it, the religous-like fever of its followers, and the high performance that it offers, the big boys, maybe just one big boy, at Microsoft have given in to the fact that it will forever be nipping at the heals of Windows.

And they know that all the work being done on clients for Exchange means that many sites that might want to switch the desktop, may still keep the server on Exchange and have a rich client front end that takes the place of Outlook. But don't rule against Outlook making a run at the Linux platform.

SQL Server, however, is a true platform that doesn't need a client to run against. With SQL Server 2005 and it's CLR integration, the platform actually expands into the application server space and can support many web development systems on a single server, within two highly integrated applications: SQL Server and IIS.

And with MySQL nipping away at many smaller installations that might have switched to SQL Server before, it's time to do something. So a top secret effort has been porting the CLR using Mono, along with the core relational engine to the Linux platform. The storage engine requires a complete rewrite as the physical storage model of Linux is radially different from that of Windows.

Integration Services, the next evolution of DTS, has already been ported with some impressive numbers of throughput. Given that many different sources need a high quality ETL engine, and a SQL Server license to handle this is still cheaper than IBM's Information Integration product and most other tools, there's hope that Integration Services will provide the foothold into Linux.

No work on pricing, but from hallway conversation it's looking like there will be another tier of licensing that will be less expensive than the Workgroup edition without CALs. There is still supposed to be a small, free version without Integration Services that competes against many small LAMP installations.

There isn't a stable complete product yet, heck, we don't even have the Windows version, but our best guess is that a SQL Server 2005b for Linux will release sometime in mid to late 2006 and the two platforms will then synch development over the next SQL Server cycle.

Moving onto a free platform is a difficuly and challenging task. Especially when you are coming from the proprietary software world. But Microsoft did it once before by moving into the free world of the Internet and taking on Netscape. I'm betting they will do it again.

And I'm sure...

that SQL Server...

is the best...;

April Fools!!!

 
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