Katmai is Slowly Becoming the Best Platform for Building Offline Applications

Katmai is the code name of the next release of SQL Server slated for next year. Last week, CTP3 was released to public, more info here. The new features included in CTP3 are eye popping especially if you are in the sync space. You might think that Sync Services was the driver for many of these features, however, that is not true. CTP3 has new components that I think are very useful and will help developers build offline application faster. That’s not to say that there won’t be sync specific features coming up later on, but I will refrain from mentioning anything now and wait till things unfold. For now, let’s talk about CTP3 features:

Change Data Capture (CDC)

  • Change Data Capture (CDC) is a generic component that will track database changes asynchronously and expose the changes through a relational interface which can be consumed easily.
  • Through this interface, users can very easily track changes based on their specific requirements and consume the change data using T-SQL or other data access methods.
  • CDC can also be used as for building download-only offline application. Why not upload too? Because the tracking is asynchronous, thus you cannot rely on the metadata for conflict detection and resolution.

MERGE  SQL Statement

  • Common data warehouse scenarios require developers to either insert information or update information. SQL Server 2008 will provide new statements within the SQL language to enable developers to provide this functionality with a single statement.
  • This is very useful for writing sync commands or stored procedure; you don’t need to write a separate command or sproc for insert and update. One merge statement would work for both.

There are more features in the CTP3, but I am only interested in those which make sync developers live easier. It seems to me that build up of features that are useful for developing sync application will make Katmai the best platform for authoring offline applications. Keep an eye on it!


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