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Over the past few months I've been giving a number of presentations on SQL Server 2008 and through these sessions I often get asked what my favorite feature in the release is. Well, I love all of my children equally and its very hard to just pick one. I love the Resource Governor, DMF, Sync, Filestream, Design Alerts in SSAS, the new visualizations in Reporting Services, Compression, Indexing, Spatial, and Transparent Data Encryption.
But if you twist my arm I do love the new Spatial improvements in SQL Server 2008. We have support for key spatial data types such as GEOGRAPHY and GEOMETRY, high performance through spatial indexing and extensibility through geospatial services such as Virtual Earth. You can get more information on our Spatial support here - http://www.microsoft.com/sql/2008/technologies/spatial.mspx
I love the features but I love the potential even more. Think of any database that stores an address; that can become a spatial-enabled database. You can start building very interesting queries with spatial and drive new types of applications. Unlike some of our competitors, we are not charging extra cost via options tied to the most expensive edition in order to get Spatial capabilities. We are putting Spatial support across all of our server editions of SQL Server. From Express Edition all the way to the Enterprise Edition. We now have an opportunity to take a niche technology and broaden out its use and appeal broadly. That's exciting!
And I'm not the only one excited about this feature, our partners are excited too and we have over 11 spatial partners that have announced upcoming support for SQL Server 2008. You can get a full list here - http://www.microsoft.com/sql/2008/technologies/spatial/spatialpartners.mspx
But to close off, I think that there is a significant amount of new and exciting new capabilities in SQL Server 2008. You can rest assured that you'll see more blog entries on some of these new capabilities over the coming months.