What’s the most important feature of SQL Server 2005?

I am not sure of the official Microsoft answer, but if you know me, you know my answer ;-),  And that seems to be shared by Michael Otey who’s recent article comparing the Sql Server and DB2’s CLR integration A Tale of Two CLRs starts with this line:

It's no secret that one of the most important features of SQL Server 2005 is the integration of the Common Language Runtime (CLR) with the database.

I love it!  Do others agree? 

Anyone looked at using CLR integration in either DB2 or Sql Server? What do you think? What is the next app that should host the CLR in a similar way?

Comments (15)

  1. Euan Garden says:

    Some might say you were bias Brad 😉

  2. Kevin Daly says:

    CLR integration is the most important feature for me, but I’m sure lots of DBAs will disagree (although they might vote CLR integration the "most worrying" feature).

  3. Well, I’m sure biased.

    Deffinitly it’s the most important new feature for me.

    SQL Server Express (the new name/version for MSDE) is also important since it may bring more users that currently uses Access/JET or open-source databases.

  4. Richard Bethell says:

    I’ll be impressed if someone can just get the new SQL Server released. Or anything – Microsoft seems to have just ground to a halt! What’s going on over there guys? When can we get past betas and into actual release territory?

  5. Mujtaba Syed says:

    Shouldn’t the first line of the article start like:

    It was the best of runtimes, it was the worst of databases… 🙂


  6. James Geurts says:

    I would think that the Office line of products would add CLR integration. VBA is getting a bit old and might not be as flexible as hosting the entire CLR….

  7. Uninformed Person says:

    I have to disagree. I haven’t seen the beta(s), so I’m probably uninformed….

    I orginally thought the CLR would be baked into SQL Server almost as a replacement for TSQL — that would be great. But the way I understand it now, it will be implemented like extended stored procedures.

    If it is only extended stored procedures running against the CLR, I really don’t see any advantage for it except for extremely rare cases where complex computations are required.

    Much ado about nothing?

  8. Eric Newton says:

    I agree with "Uninformed", I was hoping CLR would be a lot closer to the actual data engine, and we could get access to some of the goodies directly, instead of using T-SQL.

    But apparently we’re still shackled with T-SQL for actual data operations. That was very disappointing to me.

    Its definitely much ado over nothing.

    I was looking forward to a SQL Server API in .Net that would allow us to get to some of the innards (within reason) like we can with Win32 [Windows.Forms] and then the database server becomes a true Application Server.

    But obviously thats a tall order, and seems to be contrary to Microsoft’s plans for that space. (BizTalk comes to mind, I have yet to try it out though)

  9. Derek Simon says:

    "But apparently we’re still shackled with T-SQL for actual data operations. That was very disappointing to me."

    C# and Visual Basic, .NET’s two primary languages (arguably), aren’t meant for accessing relational data. As a matter of fact, they do an awful job at it. T-SQL was invented for a reason. Until we see .NET languages such a Comega (Cw) take off, the presence of .NET in Microsoft SQL Server can only be a partial one.

  10. Brad, I somewhat disagree that the most important feature of SQL Server 2005 is CLR. I don’t mean to rattle your chain, but… 🙂

    I think the best one is changes to XML manipulation of data. We do a lot of it these days because submitting data as XML allows to batch operations nicely. Right now it’s very awkward, although useful.

    I also love the fact that it’ll become much easier to page data which is very helpful when you bind to data controls in ASP.NET. There’s a whole bunch of exciting language changes that I’m looking forward to using.

  11. I agree. Best feature by far (Service Broker maybe second). It brings a lot more options and .Net folks into the database area. DBAs will cry for awhile as they begin to lose some control and have assemblies running inside "their" DB. CLR, Service Broker, and Web services now really makes SQL a one-stop-shop in some ways. You can host most, if not all, of your server app inside the server and leverage all the good stuff. The options are far and wide. Cheers!

    William {MVP}

  12. zzz says:

    I have yet to try if it works like I’d expect, but for me the ability to give matches even for input with typing errors against data with typing errors is important. So if I am looking for how to "march" I would be offered data about "match"ing and possibly also data where "match" was meant but was typed "mtch". My laptop keyboard seems to forget around 10% of the keys pressed – I suggest you avoid Acer if you want to write anything (i mean anything!).

  13. desufnoc says:

    OK from : http://weblogs.asp.net/PWilson/ I do not seem to be alone with this one:

    …"you must be logged into SQL Server using an integrated security login, as opposed to a sql server account, in order to create a .NET assembly in SQL Server 2005."

    Isn’t there another way to ensure the user should have access to the file system location where the .NET assembly is to loaded from. I also look at that from a standpoint of shared hosts: the implication is that shared web hosts won’t be able to easily allow us to use .NET assemblies on their SQL Servers.

    Are we (am I) missing something detail here?

  14. Mitch says:

    CLR integration and Cache Dependency

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