Bob Kelly, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Server and Tools business, announced at Worldwide Partner Conference that Microsoft SQL Server 2008 would be on the price list in August.
Several features are of interest specific to developers.
- LINQ Provider: SQL Server 2008 enhances LINQ by providing a new LINQ to SQL provider that allows developers to issue LINQ commands directly against SQL Server tables and columns. This will reduce the amount of time it takes to create new data queries.
- ADO.NET Entity Framework now allows you map objects to database queries using entities. The abstracting of the underlying database structure allows developers to be more productive.
- T-SQL enhancements makes database developers more efficient. One example is the new MERGE statement, which allows the developer to check for the existence of data before trying to insert the data.
- Date, time: SQL Server 2008 introduces two separate data types to handle date and time data.
- The two spatial data types, GEOGRAPHY and GEOMETRY, allow developers to store location-specific data directly into the database without having to break those data elements down into formats that fit other standard data types.
- FILESTREAM data type where files can still be stored outside of the database, but the data is considered part of the database for transactional consistency. This allows for the use of common file operations while still maintaining the performance and security benefits of the database.
Sparse columns allows NULL values to be stored without taking up any physical space on the disk. Because sparse columns do not consume actual space, tables that contain sparse columns can actually exceed the 1,024 column limit.
Change Data Capture manages incremental changes that need to be loaded into the data warehouse. This captures and places changed data into a set of change tables. Capturing updated, deleted, and inserted data in an easily consumed storage schema allows for the incremental loading of data warehouses from those tables—as opposed to having to build custom insert statements that try to figure out the changes made to existing rows of data before updating the data warehouse.
Downloads are available now for SQL Server 2008:
- Download SQL Server 2008 CTP from the MSDN Evaluation Center
- Download SQL Server 2008 Express CTP
- Download SQL Server 2008 Feature Pack
For more information about new features for developers and IT Pros, see SQL Server 2008 What's New. For information about how you can embed SQL Server in your applications, see Microsoft ISV Royalty Licensing.