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Microsoft plans to hit tools, database deadline

Attendees of the company's developer conference are expected to get nearly complete editions of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005.

Microsoft next month intends to hand out nearly finished versions of its oft-delayed database and flagship development tool.

The software giant plans to have a "release candidate" of Visual Studio 2005 and a "community technology preview" of SQL Server 2005 at its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles the week of Sept. 12--barring any production-related glitches, said Prashant Sridharan, lead product manager in Microsoft's developer division.

Sridharan added that both products will be available to all customers on Nov. 7, the latest delivery deadline for the products.

Developers will be able to use the products to build applications and get support from Microsoft, although the tools will likely have a few remaining bugs, he said.

Also in September, Microsoft will release the third beta for the server component of the Visual Studio Team System collaborative programming application, which will ship in the first quarter of next year, Sridharan said.

Microsoft has struggled to meet its initial deadlines for Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005, having pushed out the delivery dates about one year.

A relatively small group of developers complained about the quality of the second beta version of Visual Studio 2005 and requested that the company have a third beta and delay the product until next year.