Wow! Let me say that again: Wow! What a day it was yesterday. Here are some general comments about the launch. If you just want to know what the 3 surprise features were that I showed yesterday (actually I could only demo two) scroll to the end...
There were ~6,500 people registered for the event (this was a free event). Marketing expected only about 3K – 3.5K to show. There were far more people than that. At 9am (the start time of the keynote) people were still lined up outside trying to register. The staff finally had to hand out lanyards and get people into the Nokia Theater for the keynote as fast as possible. The bottom line: the event was a success!
Tom Brokaw (former anchor of the NBC Nightly News) opened the key note session with a 10-15 minute speech about how he’s seen technology change the world and how he expects it to continue at an increasing rate. Though he was an interesting choice to open a tech launch his perspective was very much appreciated by the audience.
Toward the end of the keynote SteveB put up a slide with three columns; one for each Win2K8, VS2K8, and SQL2K8. In each column was a top 10 list of new features for each product. “Policy-based Management” was number 1 under SQL2K8. Yes, a manageability feature was the top feature for the release. How cool is that! Everyone on the team should be proud of this accomplishment!
So what are the surprise features?
#1: we've rewritten the activity monitor to be far more useful and performant (funny word) than ever before. This was work Ken Henderson started before he passed away. One of Ken's good friends and a dev on the team, Bart Duncan, took over the work to complete it in Ken's honor. I showed this at launch.
#2: object search: yes, we're bringing back object search. In Object Explorer Details we've added a search bar that will search for database objects. It's a simple yet powerful search. Unfortunately I wasn't able to demo it at launch.
#3: the debugger: we've brought back the T-SQL debugger in Management Studio. This is huge and incredibly valuable. And yes, I demoed it at the launch event.
BTW: #3 had the highest number of votes in Connect and #2 was close behind. We did these because customers told us they are important feature to them. While Connect does have its flaws, it also has its good things. Keep the feedback coming!