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Today is a very exciting day for me - SQL Server 2008 is released to manufacturing and ready for you to use in your organizations!! While Rick and Rodney, and even Pierre, may get excited about Hyper-V, as many of you know I've been a database guy for a long time. Now it's not that I was not excited when I learned that Hyper-V had RTMed - I really was. I saw Hyper-V as a great way to run SQL Server 2008 in a virtual environment in order to take full advantage of the plentiful hardware resources on today's powerful computers. In fact, I think that Hyper-V is a great solution to virtualize any server workload and for server consolidation.
There is a lot of things that SQL Server 2008 brings to the table besides the ability to run virtualized under Hyper-V. SQL Server 2008 provides the trusted, productive and intelligent Data Platform for business-critical applications. This version of SQL Server provides powerful new management capabilities such as support for policy-based management allowing you to enforce corporate policies (and good coding and database practices) across the organization, performance monitoring tools and more. To enhance security and compliance you have transparent database encryption and encrypted backups ensuring your data can't be easily read or used by those who should not have access, and auditing and change data capture so you can track who's been looking or changing what data. There are also improvements for large-scale data warehousing , support for new data types such as geospatial and enhancements to unstructured and XML data support, as well as advanced reporting and analysis services.
To learn more about the new features of SQL Server 2008 check out the free eLearning Clinic that takes you through three self-paced online courses so you can experience SQL Server 2008 yourself and find out how it fits in to your organization. You can also download and read through the SQL Server 2008 Books Online - the documentation for the product. Finally, there is also the SQL Server 2008 Learning Resources page with a wealth of podcasts, webcasts, and other resources to help you get up to speed.
Personally I like to play with products to get a real feel for how to use them as well as test them out on real data in the organization. If you are a TechNet Plus subscriber, you can download your fully functional software from the TechNet Plus Subscriber Downloads area. If you don't yet have a TechNet Plus subscription, you can start checking out SQL Server 2008 today by downloading the 120-day trial. Don't forget to also visit the SQL Server 2008 TechCenter on TechNet for even more resources, tips, tricks, and great links!
BTW, if you have a project that you think SQL Server 2008 would be great for, or are in the process of using it in your organization today, contact me through the email link on the top left corner of the blog or send me an email directly. I may be able to get you some additional help and resources in case you run across any issues along the way.
This is a great day for developers. A major part of many applications written today depend on a strong
Any idea when SQL Server will be available for those who were at the WinServer 2008 in the spring will be notified about getting the bits?
Great question Ed! I need to refresh my memory but stay tuned for a post here soon on how to take advantage of that offer!
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So you might have read in Damir's post that SQL Server 2008 RTM'd last week.  What you might not
I was initially pretty excited about all of the new features listed in SSMS 2008... But after installing the RTM and finding that none of the major new features (intellisense, object explorer search, tsql debugger) will work with our production and development SQL 2000/2005 installations, it's been a bit anti-climactic. The new activity monitor won't even work with SQL 2000 databases, so I'm actually losing features by upgrading. Any chance of some backwards compatbility in SP1?
Kevin, you are correct that not all the features of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) 2008 work with previous releases of SQL Server. Quite franky, they were not designed to as in order for the integration to work both the client (SSMS)and the SQL Server back end need to have the appropriate hooks.
If you want to get a really good idea of all the new features oF SSMS in SQL Server 2008,I would recommend checkin out this article by Brad McGehee, a SQL Server MVP - http://www.simple-talk.com/sql/learn-sql-server/management-studio-improvements-in-sql-server-2008/. It does a god job of explaining what's new in SSMS 2008 and what works with previous releases.
I can see that being the case for the debugger, Damir - but intellisense worked with 2005 backend databases in the CTP versions of SSMS 2008, and Red Gate has been doing intellisense for SQL Server for eons now... Why can't MS get this right with their OWN software? I split my development time about 50/50 with C#/TSQL, so I know from my experiences with VS that MS is capable of making decent development tools. But SSMS 2008 lacking intellisense for previous versions of SQL Server is rather akin to VS not supporting any versions of the .NET framework before 3.5. It's just a BAD design decision, and I'm most certainly not the only one who thinks so -
If I have to start looking to third parties for GOOD development tools then the SQL Server suite of tools begins to lose a lot of it's lustre.