SQL Server 2005, like SQL Server 7.0 and SQL Server 2000, was driven by five major philosophical forces: enterprise suitability, developer friendliness, cost of ownership, completeness, and ubiquity.
The ability of SQL Server to handle the most demanding enterprise applications has been a key philosophy since SQL Server 7.0 development began. The focus has been on classic attributes such as quality, performance and scalability, availability, platform integration, and manageability as well as on key functionality required by enterprise customers. With SQL Server 2005 the enterprise suitability push is particularly strong, most notably in the focus on high availability.
While earlier versions of SQL Server focused on developers, with a special emphasis on independent software vendor (ISV) application developers, SQL Server 2005 is a developer's paradise. Deep integration of the Microsoft .NET common language runtime (CLR), extensive XML support, enhanced Transact-SQL (T-SQL) support, new development tools, and many other enhancements make SQL Server 2005 the database system for developers.
Cost of Ownership
SQL Server has always been inexpensive compared with the competition. Since SQL Server 7.0, Microsoft has focused on lowering the overall cost of ownership. While 7.0 was somewhat revolutionary in that regard, SQL Server 2005 is more evolutionary. SQL Server 2005 continues the tradition of reducing or automating most of the traditional tuning requirements of database systems. New management tools, supportability enhancements, and platform integration further address lowering the cost of ownership.
Prior to SQL Server 7.0, a database management system product generally consisted of a relational database engine, a client/server communications mechanism, and some rudimentary tools. Good management tools, powerful data-loading tools, replication, analytic tools, and so on were extra-cost options, if available at all. SQL Server 7.0 changed that by including most of what was necessary to build and deploy database applications in the base product. SQL Server 2005 continues this philosophy through the inclusion of an end-user component for Reporting Services, better integration of Analysis Services and the relational engine, fleshed out data mining support, and the new Service Broker.
One of the goals of SQL Server 7.0 was to replace the need for multiple different data stores with a single technology base. This required SQL Server to be capable of running while embedded within an application on a desktop as well as being a standalone database server running on the largest enterprise server hardware. It also required compatible technology to run on handheld devices. This resulted in the creation of MSDE and SQL Server CE. SQL Server 2005 makes a further push toward ubiquity by replacing those earlier technologies with SQL Server 2005 Express Edition and SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition.