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Paul Nielsen

SQL Server 2008: A New Fresh Vision

I’ve heard it said that Katmai (SQL Server 2008) is the second step of a two step release. In the same way that SQL Server 2000 was a part-two to SQL Server 7, some think that SQL Server 2008 is a part two to SQL Server 2005.

At first this thought made sense, because SQL Server 2008 is an evolution of the SQL Server 2005 engine, the same way the SQL Server 2000 built on the SQL Server 7 engine.

Now I’m not so sure.

Think about the key new technologies in SQL Server 2008: Policy Based Management, Performance Data Warehouse, PowerShell, Data Compression. None of these technologies existed in SQL Server 2005 RTM.

And think of the SQL Server 2005 new technologies that are being extended in SQL Server 2005. The most talked about new technology in SQL Server 2005 was CLR. Hear much about CLR in SQL Server 2008? Service Broker has some enhancements. But HTTP endpoints and Notification Services are actually English Queried right out of SQL Server 2008. Hmmm. I guess they should have been on the SQL Server 2005 deprecation list.

No, SQL Server 2008 isn’t a SQL Server 2005 sequel. SQL Server 2008 is a fresh new vision for SQL Server. SQL Server 2008 the first punch of a two punch set up focused squarely at managing the enterprise level database. SQL Server 2008 is a down payment on the big gains in SQL Server 11.

I think The SQL Server PMs nailed it and this the the best right direction possible 


Published Tuesday, March 4, 2008 10:10 AM by Paul Nielsen



James Bastow said:

When we talk about a new fresh vision, we need to set the bar a little bit higher. Maybe, none of these technologies exist in SQL2005, but they do exist in the DBMS domain as a whole (perhaps with some exception for DMF). How's that a fresh new vision? Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt that SQL Server is a great product. But this talk of a fresh new vision is doing it a dis-service to SQL Server in my opinion when almost all of these technologies already exist in the DBMS domain.

March 4, 2008 11:28 AM

Paul Nielsen said:

My point is that SQL Server 2008 isn't the continuation of the vision set by SQL Server 2005. The PMs re-thought their strategy for SQL Server 2008.

March 4, 2008 11:31 AM

Kevin3NF said:

What really bugs me is that the current list of really cool features is all Enterprise edition:

Backup compression



Performance Manager

Hot add memory/cpu

Data compression

the list goes on...

I'm sure some things will be moved from EE to SE, but not the stuff we've had to buy 3rd party utilities or roll code for.

C'mon MS...throw the SE users a bone or two!


March 5, 2008 1:11 PM

Steve Dassin said:

>Hear much about CLR in SQL Server 2008?

That's because now it's called LINQ. And that's the real new fresh vision! :)

March 5, 2008 9:19 PM

Paul Nielsen said:

Hi Steve, While I typically resonate with your posts, I think you've gone too far when comparing the CLR in SQL Server to Linq. While both are non-T-SQL, the similarity in purpose and functionality ands there.

March 5, 2008 10:02 PM

KKline said:

Good post, Paul.  A couple counterpoints - Microsoft made it quite clear during the SQL2005 release that this was the platform from which they'd be launching many new features and innovations to come.  So in a sense, I think you're earlier point that SQL2005 was #1 in a 1-2 punch is actually most accurate.  The most salient features that you point out in SQL2008 are, imo, tools features rather than DMBS features.  Consequently, what we're seeing is an improvement and strong departure in the mentality of the SQL Server tools, but not a major departure in the core DBMS features.

That's not to say that I'm trying to denegrate these innovations - far from it.  I've long advocated for a means of managing multiple serves at once, and PBM is awesome in this regards.  However, I feel like these new features (with the possible exception of compression, which is a competitive feature to keep up with what Oracle has offered for several releases) are primarily about the interaction between the user and the tools rather than the user and the DBMS.

Good stuff!


March 6, 2008 6:19 AM

steve dassin said:

>While I typically resonate with your posts


>I think you've gone too far when comparing the CLR in SQL Server to Linq.

Yes I probably have but the points I usually try to make are moving targets here so perhaps you'll cut me some slack:)

March 6, 2008 2:45 PM

Bart Czernicki said:


Could not disagree more.  SQL 2005 is completely different night/day compared to SQL 2000.  SSIS/SSAS/Management Studio all new apps.  Other than "this cool feauture x in 2008" what is really "completely re-written" new?

I could rattle away about 5 features of the top of my head that already exist in 3rd party apps that MS is "leveraging"...lets tackle 4 for now:

- Red-Gate intelisense (there's ur intelisense)

- Red-Gat backup (there is ur compression)

- BI Studio aggregation tab (bids helper already does this)

- HierarchyId (CLR sproc, u can write ur own in 2005)

I know there are a lot more features in 2008, but all of them seem like "eh thats nice...I am not buying/upgrading licenses anytime soon for this".

I can summarize in one sentence why 2008 is a "minor" release

2005 changed development/architecture/ 2008 is not going to do that.

March 6, 2008 9:22 PM

Paul Nielsen said:


Thanks for your post. I think you actually proved my point.

>>2005 changed development/architecture/

The direction of 2005 was all about new development technologies.

The direction of 2008 is all about new enterprise management features.

It's a turn, a new direction. It's not the part 2 to 2005. It's a new part 1 focused in a different direction than 2005.

I strongly disagree with the notion that 2008 is a minor release. It seems that way on the surface, until you grok who dramatically 2008 will change the way servers are administered.


March 6, 2008 9:41 PM

Paul Nielsen said:

Hi Steve,  slaaaack. You're always welcome here.


March 6, 2008 9:42 PM
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About Paul Nielsen

Paul Nielsen believes SQL is the romance language of data. As such he’s a hands-on database developer, Microsoft SQL Server MVP, trainer, and author of SQL Server Bible series (Wiley). As a data architect, he developed the concepts of Smart Database Design and Nordic – an open source O/R dbms for SQL Server. He lives in Colorado Springs.

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