MS launches SQL server for Windows CE

A senior Microsoft official on Thursday announced the availability of Microsoft Structured Query Language (SQL) Server 2000 Windows CE Edition, during the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) 2000 conference in San Francisco.

Paul Flessner, senior vice president of Microsoft's .Net Enterprise Servers Group, announced the worldwide availability, pricing and licensing of the new relational database product for handheld devices, the company said in a statement. SQL Server 2000 Windows CE Edition is licensed as part of the SQL Server 2000 Developer Edition, which can be purchased for $US499 plus shipping and handling, Microsoft said.

SQL Server for Windows CE provides business data management capabilities to devices such as the Pocket PC, the Handheld PC and other, custom mobile devices running Windows CE, the company said. Microsoft has long had its relational database product for servers and desktops machines. The software company has now completed a long-term goal of putting out a version of the database for handheld devices, said Jeff Ressler, Microsoft's lead product manager for SQL Server.

SQL Server for Windows CE occupies 1M byte of memory, Ressler said. It offers the common look of SQL Server with tools, application program interfaces (APIs) and SQL grammar. Download, update and sychronisation of data support from a back-end SQL Server database is provided through Remote Data Access (RDA) and merge replication, both of which work over HTTP.

One analyst suggested that a key function of the database product is its out-in-the-field possibilities.

"The main thing is that mobile applications will have local data, which is synchronised with a corporate server database," said Job Rubin, a senior research analyst with Gartner. "If this device is being used for order entry, there will be opportunities for local editing. You actually are getting some of the value of editing right there."

Microsoft's portable version of SQL Server 2000 will go head to head with existing offerings from Oracle, Sybase and other vendors.

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