SQL Server 2008 'Katmai' CTP Is Now Available

Click SQL Server “Katmai” June CTP release to get started. Here are the 4 main functional areas that you will want to investigate with this new release:

  • Mission-Critical Platform – SQL Server 2008 enables IT groups to be more productive by providing a more secure, scalable, and manageable platform. It includes a new policy-based management framework that shifts from managing by scripts to managing by rules. SQL Server 2008 also protects valuable information in existing applications and disconnected devices. In addition, SQL Server 2008 delivers predictable query performance with an optimized platform.
  • Dynamic Development – SQL Server 2008 along with the .NET Framework enables developers to build the next generation of applications. Developers are more productive because they work with business entities instead of tables and columns. They can build applications that enable users to take their data with them and synchronize their data with back-end servers.
  • Beyond Relational Data – SQL Server 2008 enables developers to consume any type of data, from XML to documents, and build applications that incorporate location awareness.
  • Pervasive Business Insight – SQL Server 2008 provides a scalable infrastructure that can manage reports and analysis of any size or complexity while at the same time empowering users because of its close integration with the Microsoft Office System. This enables IT to drive business intelligence throughout the organization. SQL Server 2008 makes great strides in data warehousing, enabling users to consolidate data marts in an enterprise data warehouse.

Some more detail...

Declarative Management Framework (DMF)

Declarative Management is a new policy-based management framework for the SQL Server Database Engine that delivers the following benefits:

  • Ensure compliance with policies for system configuration
  • Prevent/monitor changes to the system by authoring policies for the desired configuration
  • Reduce total cost of ownership by simplifying administration tasks

Change Data Capture (CDC)

  • Change Data Capture (CDC) is a generic component that will track database changes asynchronously and expose the changes through a relational interface which can be consumed easily.
  • Through this interface, consumers can very easily track changes based on their specific requirements and consume the change data  using T-SQL or other data access methods.

MERGE SQL Statement

  • Common data warehouse scenarios require developers to either insert information or update information. SQL Server 2008 will provide new statements within the SQL language to enable developers to provide this functionality with a single statement.

VSTA Support for the Script Task and Component

  • Auto migration – Existing script components in SQL Server 2005 will automatically invoke the new VSTA environment, which makes the migration of old script components seamless.
  • C# support - With this improvement, SSIS package developers will be able to code in C#, along with existing Visual Basic .NET
  • Debugging – Standard VS debugging features are also fully enabled in this new environment.

Star Join Query Optimizations

  • For improved query performance for common data warehouse scenarios, Star Join Query optimizations reduce query response time by recognizing data warehouse join patterns.

AS Dimension Design: Improved Supportability and Integration of Best Practices

  • Enhance UI for creating and editing dimensions to guide users toward designs that follow best practices. 
  • These include: Finish Attribute Relationship Designer, Dimension structure (presentation of attribute relationships), modification to wizards to align output with best practices, simplifying creation of composite keys, and AMO warnings (spanning all objects, not just dimensions)

Table Value Parameters

  • In many customer scenarios, it is necessary to pass a set of table structured values (rows) to a stored procedure/function on the server. These values may be used for populating/updating a table directly or for more complex manipulation of data for business logic purpose. Table valued parameter will provide an easier way to define a table type as well as allow applications to create, populate and pass table structured parameters to stored procedures and functions.

Language Integrated Query

  • Language Integrated Query (LINQ) enables developers to issue queries against data in terms of their programming language instead of SQL. It enables seamless, strongly typed, set-oriented queries in Microsoft Visual C#® or Microsoft Visual Basic® against the connected ADO.Net stack (SqlClient), ADO.NET DataSet, and the Entity Data Service Mapping provider.

ADO.Net Object Services

  • The Object services layer of the ADO.NET stack enables materialization, change tracking, and the persistence of data as CLR objects. Developers using the ADO.NET Framework can program against a database using CLR objects that are managed by ADO.NET. SQL Server 2008 introduces more efficient, optimized support that improves performance and simplifies development and supports entities.

Spatial data

  • SQL Server 2008 includes a vector-based spatial solution that conforms to industry spatial standards. This enables developers to build location-aware applications that capture geographical information from within the organization and integrate the data into applications.

Location data

  • SQL Server 2008 enables users to capture location data from across the organization and integrate location intelligence into existing applications, creating location-aware applications.

And there is much much more. For a more comprehensive list of features, download the SQL Server 2008 Product Overview document.