Data Access Interfaces Enhancements
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 introduces improvements in the programming interfaces used to access the data in SQL Server databases. The APIs for the SQL Server Database Engine include the SqlClient managed namespace, SQL Native Client, and SQLXML. The SQL Server 2005 improvements in these APIs increase programmer productivity and support new functionality in applications that access SQL Server databases.
Database Engine Enhancements
Much of the new functionality available to Database Engine applications is not specific to the database access interfaces, but comes from new features implemented in the Database Engine. For more information, see Database Engine Enhancements and Database Engine Programmability Enhancements.
Data Access API Enhancements
More Functionality to ODBC and OLE DB Programs
SQL Native Client is a data access technology that is new to SQL Server 2005. It combines the SQL OLE DB provider and the SQL ODBC driver together with their associated network libraries into one native dynamic link library (DLL) while also providing new functionality over and above that provided by MDAC. SQL Native Client can be used to create new applications or enhance existing applications that need to take advantage of new SQL Server features such as Multiple Active Result Sets (MARS), user-defined types (UDT), and XML data type support. SQL Native Client is a redistributable component of SQL Server 2005.
For more information, see Features of SQL Native Client.
.NET Framework Common Language Runtime Integration
The .NET Framework's common language runtime (CLR) is now hosted in the SQL Server Database Engine. This CLR integrated environment supports procedural database objects, including functions, stored procedures, and triggers, written in .NET languages, such as Microsoft Visual C# and Microsoft Visual Basic .NET. .NET languages support logic and features that are not available in the Transact-SQL language, meaning that more complex logic can now be incorporated in database objects. User-defined types and aggregates can also be written in .NET languages to build more complex data types than were available in earlier versions of SQL Server.
The CLR programming environment is integrated into the Visual Studio development environment. Developers use the same tools for developing and debugging database objects as they use to develop client or middle-tier .NET components and services.
For more information, see Introduction to Common Language Runtime (CLR) Integration.
Web Access: Native HTTP SOAP Access
Instances of the Database Engine can be configured with HTTP endpoints or addresses to which SOAP requests can be sent from applications. The packets are received directly by the instance of the Database Engine without the need for configuring any middle-tier service such as an Internet Information Services (IIS) server.
For more information, see Using Native XML Web Services in SQL Server 2005.