eWeek has an article about the release date slip of Yukon and Whidbey. It's more an article about Yukon than about Whidbey and for a reason: it's a known fact that Yukon holds back Whidbey, not the other way around, so if Yukon slips, Whidbey will slipperdy slide with it.
From the article:
According to Rizzo, both products are on the same timeframe for shipping for a key reason: Namely, Microsoft wants to release the best of its developer tools with the best of its database technology "to really change the industry," he said. "If you look at Oracle [Corp.] and IBM and other competitors in the open-source space, they don't have releases where new and innovative tools are released with a new and innovative database. Customers want that: the next generation of tools that exploit the next generation of database technology."
This re-vamped some thoughts I have had for a long time: is it truly a Good ThingTM that Yukon and Whidbey are released at the same time? And if it is a good thing, for whom is it 'good' and for whom is it less 'good' ?
Let me say it my way: it is a good thing for Microsoft and a bad thing for developers.
The reason for this is: developers really need an update to Visual Studio. Because Visual Studio.NET is tied to a particular .NET version, a slip of the VS.NET release date will also make .NET 2.0 slip further away. Due to the current not-all-that-bugfree state of the VS.NET 2003 IDE, it is key that developers get their hands on Whidbey a.s.a.p. Talk to an ASP.NET developer and you know why. Talk to people who want to get started with generics and better editors and you know why. Furthermore, do all those developers write software targeting SqlServer and do they need VS.NET to target SqlServer? I don't think they all do. So do they really need Yukon together with an update of VS.NET? No, not at all. Only if they've decided to target Yukon. If they have to work with a production SqlServer 2000 or even SqlServer 7 or Oracle 8i/9i system, they don't need Yukon at all. But they do need Whidbey because of the vast amount of improvements and bugfixes.
Why is it a good thing for Microsoft? To tie Visual Studio.NET with Yukon, Visual Studio.NET can increase Yukon sales. Visual Studio.NET is the tool used the most for .NET development. If Visual Studio.NET has by far the best integration with Yukon compared to Oracle or DB2, it might be an extra benefit for Yukon so project teams might decide to opt for Yukon instead of the competition.
Looking at the marriage between Yukon and Whidbey, I can only say: stop the councilling, get a divorce and start seeing other people, because it will only affect the happiness of the children and friends. It's nice that Microsoft tries to make more money by pushing Yukon through Whidbey, but for developers, a development environment is a toolset used to write software, not an extension of 'a' database. However, because of delays in the Yukon department, Whidbey is delayed too, which is very sad news for .NET-targeting developers.
Other sad news is that MS apparently has cut some serious enterprise features from Yukon. It might look like a lot of SqlServer users don't need serious enterprise features, but current users of Oracle and DB2 on big machines do need those features, however are of course not very eager to migrate to Yukon if they have to drop serious enterprise features for that because Yukon doesn't support them. I really wonder why MS can't pull it off. Yukon is already more than 5 years in development, SqlServer 2000 wasn't and still isn't a bad database, so what's the showstopper in Yukon that it is delayed so much? Is it CLR integration? Or is it something else? I find it bad news that MS can't get Yukon ready on time, because it means that development was problematic which can only lead to a problematic end result. Because I like SqlServer, that's not something I'm looking forward to.
Perhaps MS could consider releasing an SqlServer 2000 SE version with just MVCC features, a better toolset and an earlier release date of Whidbey, thus ending the marriage between Yukon and Whidbey for good.