Buck's got a great point about how SQL Server's development themes are managed from the top down:
It isn't a matter of thinking up single features or changes to the product, it's a cohesive direction we all want to go.
Carpe Datum : Why on earth are you working on that?
Reading his blog always make me wish that I could translate the pun in the title of my blog into Latin, too. Heh.
However, when it comes down to actually using SQL Server's new features du jour (see how I get my exotic language points in, too?), it's all about the individual features and changes to the product. Which is where the product samples and community projects come in... We (collectively) have got to take the roadmap and figure out the simplest way to show people how to use individual features and changes to the product in 2008.
Here are of the new features that we're fixin' to show off in the AdventureWorks 2008 family of databases. (Yes, I just moved from Tejas to Redmond, so we're fixin' to. Deal wit' it.)
- Support for Entity Framework
- Integrated full text indexing support
- New data types
- New date/time types
- Backup compression
At least that's the current plan. We're working through some changes that we tentatively plan to ship in the CTP6/joint launch timeframe. Among other things, I'd like to figure out how to get transparent data encryption and some others in there, too. BUT some of the self-imposed constraints for the AdventureWorks family of databases are that they have to be easy to deploy... and easy to understand. I've got half a mission statement for the AdventureWorks databases drafted, but those are two of the core principles.
Easy to understand is the driver that prompted Bonnie last year to create the newest member of the AdventureWorks family of databases: AdventureWorks LT. We (before I was part of we) had received feedback from customers that there are some folks who are new to the database universe who struggle with a higher level of normalization that the AdventureWorks OLTP database demonstrates, so AdventureWorks LT was born. It's a subset of the AdventureWorks data in a greatly denormalized format that is easier for instructors to demonstrate simple T-SQL concepts with and easier for new students of database technology to grasp. But I digress... If you yearn for the simplicity of Northwind or pubs, check out AdventureWorks LT and let me know what you think.
If you've got a favorite Feature X that you'd like to see in the AdventureWorks 2008 schemas, now is the time to voice your opinion. Let's hear it!
[Obligatory Disclaimer: Like the Any Key of legend, the name Feature X is a convenient placeholder or wildcard term. There is not now, nor has there ever been, a part of SQL Server called Feature X. As far as you know.]