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Microsoft Expands SQL 2000 with Notification Services

Microsoft on Monday released a downloadable service built on its flagship SQL Server 2000 database for generating personalized notification messages for different client devices.

Known as SQL Server 2000 Notification Services, the services are intended to provide developers with a scalable way of building applications that blast messages out to a variety of client types when triggered by definable events.

Early adopters are using Notification Services in several ways that illustrate the broad scope of the toolset. An Israeli healthcare organization, Clalit Health Services, is building an application that delivers lab results to patients and doctors. The New York Times online component used the services to build a real-estate property tracker that notifies subscribers of new real-estate listings. Nasdaq.com is using Notification Services in its Internet application to send subscribers personalized notifications about financial data changes.

Target devices for SQL Server 2000 Notification Services include PCs, laptops, PDAs, phones, fax machines, pagers and other devices.

Several other companies are building services and solution offerings around Notification Services, including Hewlett-Packard, KPMG Consulting, MobileSys, Clarity Consulting and DevelopMentor.

Microsoft first unveiled SQL Server 2000 Notification Services four months ago at TechEd 2002 in April. Pricing hadn't been determined at the time. Microsoft's Web site for Notification Services indicates that the download is free, although Notification Services could introduce licensing complexities for users who aren't already on per-processor pricing for SQL Server 2000. Each device receiving a notification requires a Client Access License (CAL). Notification Services comes in standard and enterprise editions.

Microsoft officials said in April that Notification Services will be rolled into the Yukon release of SQL Server. That major upgrade to SQL Server is supposed to ship sometime in 2003.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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