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Paul Nielsen

I'm a happy camper

I’m satisfied with SQL Server 2008. It meets my needs and I can build whatever I want in the database. There’s no feature that it lacks that blocking my development. SQL Server 2008 is what I see when I close my eyes and dream. Maybe I’m just pleased with my current projects, maybe I’m being dense, maybe I lack imagination, tell me if I’m being stupid, but I feel no compelling need for an upgrade. If Microsoft didn’t ship the new version for 3 or 5 more years, I’d be ok with that. I’m sure there will be features in the next version of SQL Server that I’ll become jazzed about and I’m all for progress, but today, I’m a very satisfied database developer. I know this is an unusual blog post, but I want to say: I’ve worked with lots of databases over the past 32 years and I really like SQL Server 2008. Thank you MSFT SQL Server team.

Published Friday, April 30, 2010 8:00 AM by Paul Nielsen



umm said:

Who cares. Stop wasting your time and ours posting this useless crap. Oh by the way, ever hear of an innovation called the paragraph?

April 30, 2010 9:14 AM

Jen McCown said:

Agreed, I rather love SQL 2k8 myself. Nice positive post to start off my day, thanks Paul. -J

April 30, 2010 9:34 AM

Paul Nielsen said:

Umm, seems to me there's value in an overall discussion on the general satisfaction level of SQL Server developers. Seems to me Microsoft would be interested in this discussion. I am. But there's no gun to your head. You're welcome to ignore or disagree.

April 30, 2010 10:34 AM

GT said:

Paul I enjoy your blog. I have been reading for a while now and have your book Sql 2005 Bible. I've never posted anything here before but after "Umm's" uneccessary comments I thought it was necessary.

Umm here's a good website for you to check out

April 30, 2010 1:39 PM

Sankar said:

Mr. umm,

Are someone forcing you to read this blog? If you think its a waste of your time then why post a comment. Paul acknowledged that its a unusual post from him and shared his thoughts for the product. If you don't like it, move on buddy. I would assume Adam Machanic will echo the same sentiment.

April 30, 2010 3:35 PM

cinahcaM madA said:


Not sure which sentiment you're referring to. I would tell "umm" to move on, yes. I would not echo Paul's "I'm-super-happy-don't-need-anything-else-kumbaya!" sentiment. I think there's plenty of room for improvement and I can think of 10 features I would like added to the product tomorrow right off the top of my head.

GT: is so much cooler :-)

April 30, 2010 5:51 PM

Sankar said:

>> I would tell "umm" to move on, yes.

Thats the one I am referring to. I am NOT using 2008 that much, so can't comment on that.

April 30, 2010 8:03 PM

Uri Dimant said:

Hi Paul

Reading your post I asked myself as probably many others ask as well what is the point releasing SQL Server 2008 R2 right now?

What do you think Paul?

May 2, 2010 2:34 AM

Uri Dimant said:

Hi Paul

Reading your post I asked myself as probably many others ask as well what is the point releasing SQL Server 2008 R2 right now?

What do you think Paul?

May 2, 2010 2:34 AM

Uri Dimant said:

Hi Paul

Reading your post I asked myself as probably many others ask as well what is the point releasing SQL Server 2008 R2 right now?

What do you think Paul?

May 2, 2010 2:34 AM

Greg Linwood said:

SQL, you complete me?

May 2, 2010 3:28 AM

Alex K said:

Privet Uri,

When our queries return duplicate rows, that might indicate that something is wrong with those queries. Although adding a DISTINCT is a nice short term fix, eventually we need to address the underlying problem ;)

May 2, 2010 6:35 PM

Paul Nielsen said:

Adam, Perhaps it’s a generational thing. When I started coding database apps we had to hand-code the nested loops that would later become known as inner joins. I remember the thrill of learning how to code a quicksort instead of a bubble sort. When I look at a query optimization plan for a complex query, it represents saving days to weeks of difficult or near-impossible hand-coding. SQL’s  level of abstraction is pretty cool.

I didn’t say that I couldn’t think of any new feature for SQL Server that would improve the product. I have a list that I’ve passed on to MSFT. But I’m working on some pretty complex projects and there’s no lack of feature in SQL Server blocking my development. That wasn’t true with Pascal, DecBasic, COBOL, dBase 2, DataFlex, VB, Pioneer software SQL, Access  1, 2, 95, SQL Server 6.5, 7, 2000, or 2005.

To point to a few key features that I use daily that make a huge difference: TVPs radically change how I code database APIs and solve many problems. Merge with Output is great. Output iwth any Insert, Update or Delete is pretty cool. cascading CTEs simplyfy complex quereis. But TVPs are probably the swingle greatest deal-maker for me.

I phased my blog post informally, but I was really saying...

The feature set of the database industry and SQL Server 2008 in particular has matured to a level that SQL Server 2008 includes all the critical features I require to build a complex database without painful workarounds.

May 3, 2010 9:45 AM

Greg Linwood said:

SQL Server is MUCH stronger in its developer feature set than it's management feature set. I'd agree it has most of the tools required for building business apps but there are still many important management features missing.

May 3, 2010 6:27 PM

Nathan said:


While you're in such a great mood maybe now is the time to ask when the next version of Nordic will surface on codeplex :) I assume thats one of the "pretty complex projects" you mentioned.  

May 5, 2010 12:54 AM

Paul Nielsen said:

Nathan, email me directly at

May 5, 2010 10:05 AM

danh said:

2008 is great, very impressed with some out of the box features like backup compression.

However, the user tools could still do with some work - Edit rows is SO SLOW for managing small mapping tables during development, schema integration into SSMS is still horrible (Connect passim !)

@Uri; R2 was informally known as the "BI refresh" before release - new features are mostly in the 'presentation layers' + Stream Insight rather than the database engine.  next database engine release apparently late 2011.

May 19, 2010 3:37 AM
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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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