I had a chance to attend a talk by Senior SQL Server PM about SQL Server 2008, and following were some of the key takeaways:
The key tenants in SQL Server 2008 are:
Lots of the new features for SQL Server 2008 will be available in November CTP (CTP4) - so make sure to login to the MS connect site at - http://connect.microsoft.com to get the latest CTP.
Resource Governor - a great new feature a lot of my customers have been asking for. It will enable DBAs to assign resources to differnt workloads in SQL Server. So for example with the use of ALTER commands DBAs will be able to assign more CPU resources to OLTP based tasks than say a reporting workload. The changes take in effect real time and upon execution of the alter statements.
Declartive Management Framework - a feature that enables DBAs to set policies for managing the SQL Server environment. Unfortunatley I dont have more info on this at the moment...as I was starting to doze off while the PM was talking about this feature. I will ensure to follow up with more information on this in later blogs.
Spatial Data - ability to store geo spatial data will be made avaiable as part of SQL Server 2008.
Reporting Services - whole lot of new enhancements to this feature of SQL SErver 2008, with the incorporation of Dundas Charting and visualisations and OfficeWriter functionality allowing users to author reports straight out from Excel and Word (Office 12 and later). Another fantastic feature is a new Report Designer tool that has the Office 2007 ribbon and is the new end power user tool to develop reports without requiring to install Business Intelligence Studio (BIDS). BIDS will still be there for managing the entire BI solution, e.g. SSIS, SSAS, SSRS.
For more information on SQL Server 2008 you can visit: www.microsoft.com/sql/2008/default.mspx and dont forget to download the latest CTP in Nov 2007 to get your hands dirty :).