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InfoQ Homepage News English Query Discontinued in VS 2005

English Query Discontinued in VS 2005

English Query, a tool that translated queries written in English into SQL queries, has been discontinued. The full MSDN text on the issue is simply "English Query has been discontinued in this release. It cannot be installed or upgraded. If you upgrade a Microsoft SQL Server 2000 installation that includes English Query, English Query is not affected."

English Query required quite a lot of work to initially setup. Nouns and verbs for every table of interest had to be manually mapped by a DBA to the underlying database schema. Once mapped, users can ask questions in plain English like, "How many orders in March were for more than 500 dollars?" English Query then uses a technique known as Natural Language Processing to perform the translations into SQL.

Microsoft hasn't said much as to why English Query was continued. One could speculate that it may be due to lack of interest or an inability to provide accurate translations. But as research into natural language processing continues, we may see it resurface again in another product by another company.

For an in depth overview of English Query, see Buck Woody's article on

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