What's new in SQL 2008

by Joe Havelick 1. November 2008 21:16

The following represents a summary of major features available with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 that weren't part of Microsoft SQL Server 2005:

  • New data type, including:
    • Date, Time, and DateTimeOffset (a date time with a timezone "awareness")
    • Geographic, or spatial data type.  Used to represent points or areas on a map or the earth.
    • Hierarchical data types, used to more efficiently represent hierarchical information.
    • Filestreams, used to store large files directly on an NTFS file system, such that you can reap the benefits of storing files such as PDF, JPEG, TIFF, AVI, etc. in your databases, without the growth issues.
  • Enhanced Encryption - Advertised as transparent, it promises to allow for field to database level encryption without any application logic required.  
  • Resource Governor - Allows rule based throttling of resources to more important transactions, so that your day to day operations don't get tanked by a one time report or update.
  • Better control over query plans - Although it's possible to store and force the reuse of query plans in 2005, 2008 is supposed to make it much easier.  The Optimizer in SQL does excellent work 99.9% of the time... but it can be a bear for that last bit.
  • Auditing - Built in support for column or table based tracking of Additions, Updates and Deletions.  From what I've seem, it's simple to setup, but requires some TSQL skills to utilize.  It's appeal is that it will work without much additional overhead, or the need to implement new tables and triggers.
  • Better LINQ support - This is inline with Microsoft's overall strategy of enabling developers to more close build standard object models for datasources, regardless of the actual provider.  Expect Visual Studio 2009 to capitalize on this further. 
  • Elimination of Notification Services - The functionality that was built into SQL appears to still be available via Reporting Services, however, using Notification Services as a framework for delivering notifications from standard queries appears to be unavailable.
  • Policy Based Management - I'm really not to hot about this myself, but it allows you to apply policies to databases and periodically run "health checks" of those policies against your databases.  What I'm not clear on is why you would ever need to check the health of your database.  I f apolicy has been applied to prevent something from occurring, why would it ever be allowed, and thereby put it in an unhealthy state.  I remain curious.

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