Rick Dyess from Solid Quality Learning recorded a quick (12 minute) talking-head video explaining the new features of SQL Server 2008 that would be of interest to developers. It’s called “What about Developers? SQL Server 2008 and the Development Environment” As I haven’t been paying huge attention to SS2008, I definitely wanted to see this.
You may have heard about some new date types: e.g. a Date that you don’t constantly have to strip the time out of and a time that you don’t have to extract out of a DateTime field – thank heavens!
There’s also a file stream type that stores the stream in the file system but keeps a pointer in the database to it. We often do this manually. So now SQL Server will take care of the plumbing for you.
I hadn’t been aware of the hierarchical type which lets you keep track of hierarchies between objects. I have to actually see this in action to understand it better.
There is also a geospatial type that will probably make a lot of people happy. It’s over my head. 🙂
SQL Server 2008 takes care of a problem that I wasn’t even aware of. Rick explains that when you have a null in a column, it will take up the full space allocated to the column. That’s a lot of wasted space for containing “nothing”. SO that’s been fixed. Null will take up no space.
There are other features that he quickly reviews in the video such as improvements to Service Broker (e.g. it knows how to prioritize the services).
One thing I found confusing was the way he presented LINQ to SQL and Entity Framework (including EF’s object services). LINQ to SQL is a feature that is [extremely] useful for developers accessing a SQL Server Database. Entity Framework is a feature that is [extremely] useful for developers accessing any database which has an E.F. provider available. Rick presented these as “new features of SQL Server 2008” although I don’t really think he actually meant to suggest that these are features OF SQL Server 2008. But unfortunately, that’s how the message comes across. It’s not the end of the world, but a bit misleading (again, I believe wholly unintentional).There’s also “coming soon” book listed on Amazon with the confusing (to me) title of “Pro SQL Server 2008 Entity Framework”, from APress. But then again, Roger Jennings pointed out that the title of my own book “Programming Entity Framework” is odd given that Dave Sceppa’s book is called “Programming the Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework”. I know my title was created by O’Reilly to fit into the “Programming” series at O’Reilly, so perhaps the APress book is following some in-house pattern as well.
Anyway, the video from Rick was a very quick and helpful way for me to do a quick, high-level, catch-up.
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