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Allen White

SQL Server 2008 - Is It Time Yet?

At the PASS Conference in Denver the question was frequently asked - is it time yet for another release of SQL Server? Microsoft execs have said repeatedly at TechEd and at PASS that they've "heard us loud and clear" that 5 years is too long between releases. As a DBA with a company that maintains (and pays handsomely for) Software Assurance I understand that the 5 year window is too long.

On the other hand, I still have to support SQL Server 2000 because many of the applications we run are third-party applications, and the vendor(s) aren't yet ready to support SQL Server 2005. (I've even tested apps against SQL Server 2005 to show them it works fine, but they won't support it, so I can't upgrade.)

There are features in SQL Server 2008 that look like they'll save my company some significant time and effort. Things like Change Data Capture and the Dynamic Management Framework are really exciting. What I'm wondering is if it might be worth holding off a little bit to make certain that these work as they should work. It's hard to tell at this point, because of the slow release of CTP's for Katmai. (CTP5 was being called the "October CTP" at PASS. I even teased Paul Mestemaker about "October" meaning October 31. It's now November and CTP5 doesn't appear close to ready for public consumption.)

I'm well aware of the urgency at Microsoft on getting the code done and into the test cycle so the 2nd Quarter RTM schedule is maintained, but I also know that some features that should be in SQL Server 2008 won't be there because of that schedule. That's really too bad.

At this point I'm learning as much as I can about SQL Server 2008 because it's exciting, but it'll be at least two years before I'll be able to justify any upgrades here. The issue has more to do with my third-party apps than our in-house development, but it's hard enough to maintain two separate releases, much less three.


Published Thursday, November 8, 2007 11:37 AM by AllenMWhite
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Denis Gobo said:

I am excited about the date datatype, it is 3 bytes instead of 8 which I have by using datetime.

I cannot use smalldatetime because the data goes back to 1896. Billion+ rows of data * 5 bytes is a nice saving of at least 4.768GB

MERGE(Upsert) also looks nice

Oh and C# in SSIS  ;-)

November 8, 2007 11:09 AM

AllenMWhite said:

Denis, I absolutely agree there's a lot to be excited about, but getting the third party vendors to get on board seems to be a major obstacle IMO.

November 8, 2007 1:29 PM

RickHeiges said:

Do you remember SQL Mag articles with the little 7.0 and 2000 icons?  We will be back to that as well very soon if not already.

Third party vendors are often the laggards.  Many organizations that I deal with are excited about SQL 2005 and some of the neat features.  For the most part, the "in-house" applications have at least been tested with 2005 if not already upgraded.  The ISVs really see 2005/2008 as a low-priority upgrade for their systems.  Why?  It is because that many of them will not take advantage of some of the great features in 2005/2008 and do not want to change because a DB engine upgrade is available.  It is almost like having someone tell you that your car is too old and out of warranty and that you shold buy a new one that is more fuel efficient and safer.  I can understand that their is resistance.

If an organization is really committed to minimizing the versions of SQL in use, it must also find vendors who are committed to this as well or at least look for another vendor when the current one is unwilling to move from a soon to be unsupported DB platform.

November 8, 2007 4:02 PM

AllenMWhite said:

From a DBA standpoint I couldn't agree with you more, Rick, on finding vendors committed to keeping current, but the business side is more interested in the features of the application than the technology that underlies it.  (And I'm not so sure that's a bad idea.)  The issue then becomes the support from Microsoft, and that circles back to my original question - is it time yet, really, to bring out a new release?

November 8, 2007 8:33 PM
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About AllenMWhite

Allen White is a consultant and mentor for Upsearch Technology Services in Northeast Ohio. He has worked as a Database Administrator, Architect and Developer for over 30 years, supporting both the Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server platforms over that period.

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