SQL Server 2008 June CTP now available!

At TechED 2007 in Orlando, we have announced the first public CTP release of SQL Server 2008! You can join the CTP program, download the bits, and access various resources from our CTP Program site. We will be posting the most updated bits and information on this site so please visit us often. It currently provides the schedule for upcoming web chat on 6/11 and six additional Live Meeting sessions in June time frame. We also just posted a Whitepaper on SQL Server 2008 Product Overview, an on-demand webcast of Dave Campbell's presentation at TechEd, and links to other community resources (forums, sample codes, feedback channels, etc.)

From the release perspective, features will not be incorporated in a SQL Server CTP build until they are "complete". This helps make our release schedule more predictable. As a result of this new engineering approach, customers will see incremental set of new features added in a stable series of CTP releases.

 In June CTP, we have added some exciting new features including:

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

o    Ensure compliance with policies for system configuration

o    Prevent/monitor changes to the system by authoring policies for the desired configuration

o    Reduce total cost of ownership by simplifying administration tasks

·         Table Value Parameters

o    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

·         MERGE SQL Statement

o    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.

·         Change Data Capture (CDC)

o    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.

o    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.

·         Star Join Query Optimizations

o    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

o    Enhance UI for creating and editing dimensions to guide users toward designs that follow best practices.

o    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)

Again, We encourage you to explore our SQL Server 2008 CTP program site, and share with us your feedback and suggestions!