Dejan Sarka has a thought provoking post about Microsoft’s use of the term “beyond relational” to describe the new Katmai data types such as spatial or file stream.
from his post…
I would simply say that the people that use the "beyond relational" expression do not know exactly what they are talking about. Relational model is neither data type nor physical storage dependent. I would really appreciate if people who are talking about SQL Server would have some knowledge about relational model. Or maybe is this a fad, going beyond relational, because the relational model is "obsolete"?
I agree with Dejan - I'm guessing that when Microsoft says Beyond Relational, they really mean “beyond traditional SQL data types used in the SQL Server Relational Engine.” But it’s one more way that the database professional is being dumbed down by Microsoft.