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SQL Server 2008 February CTP

Microsoft Has Released the February CTP of SQL Server 2008 (CTP6)

SQL Server 2008 CTP6 is available on the Microsoft Download Center.

SQL Server 2008 CTP6 should be "feature complete" and includes 15 new features:

Pervasive Insight

  • Read-Only SSAS Shared Scaleout

Scalable shared analysis services databases consist of three capabilities read-only database for marking a database as read-only, database storage location for a database to reside outside the server Data folder, and attach/detach database that allows attaching or detaching a database from any UNC path. These features together enable the query scale out scenario.

  • Support for Microsoft Word Rendering

Support for Microsoft Word Rendering allows users to render reports to Microsoft Word formats that are compatible with Microsoft Word 2000 and greater.

  • Data Visualization Enhancements

Data Visualization Enhancements provides significantly improved support for Charting and adds support for Gauge controls directly within reports.   The advanced charting scenarios now supported provide greater visual appeal to reports created by Reporting Services.

  • Report Design Enhancements in BIDS

BIDS as a whole has been migrated from a Visual Studio 2005 to Visual Studio 2008 platform.  SQL Server Reporting Services additionally updated the report design tools found in BIDS.  Updates include:
– the more powerful Tablix based Tables, Lists, Matrices
– the Report Data window for easier interaction with data fields
– new dialogs throughout the design experience

  • Throughput Enhancements

Reporting Services Report Rendering Throughput, the number of reports rendered in a given amount of time, has been increased to reach and exceed SQL Server 2005 levels for small report workloads and mixed small/large report workloads which means increased rendering performance and ability to run larger reports. 

Dynamic Development

  • Full-Text Search (iFTS)

Integrated Full-Text Search makes the transition between Full-Text Search and relational data seamless, while enabling the use of full-text indexes to perform high-speed text searches on large text columns. 

  • Filtered Indexes

This feature introduces the ability to create filtered indexes on a table. A filtered index is an optimized non-clustered index, especially suited to cover queries that select from a well-defined subset of data in a table. It uses a filter predicate (WHERE clause) to index a portion of rows in the table. A well-designed filtered index can improve query performance, reduce index maintenance costs, and reduce index storage costs compared with regular/full-table indexes.

  • Sparse Columns

This feature provides a highly efficient way of managing empty data in a database by enabling NULL data to consume no physical space. For example, sparse columns allows object models that typically contain numerous null values to be stored in a SQL Server 2008 database without experiencing large space costs. This feature also introduces the notion of a ‘Column Set’ that allows logical grouping of all sparse columns in a table. Column Set simplifies the generic insert and update of a group of sparse columns in a table.

  • Microsoft Sync Support

Supported in the February CTP, the Microsoft Sync Framework is a comprehensive synchronization platform that enables collaboration and offline scenarios for applications, services and devices. Developers can build sync ecosystems that integrate any application, any type of data, using any protocol over any network.   

Enterprise Data Platform

  • Policy Based Management Completeness

More productivity enhancements include policy violation alerts, policy import, the ability to run and evaluate multiple simultaneous policies, view the facets and evaluate policies when Object Explorer is connected to Analysis Services and Reporting Services, and more.

  • Performance Data Collection

Enhancements, many based on CTP customer feedback, include report improvements, data collection performance improvements, and viewing query plans. 

  • Intellisense Enhancements

Enhancements include expanded T-SQL language coverage and a new colorization system.

  • Failover Cluster

This feature enables SQL Server 2008 failover cluster installation scenarios. Leveraging the new setup architecture, Windows Cluster health checks and SQL Server specific cluster rule checks, failover cluster scenarios separate the Windows Cluster issues from SQL Server setup issues and enable cluster scenarios that were not achievable in previous versions.

  • SQL Audit

SQL Audit introduces native auditing capabilities to the SQL Server engine. Compared to previous auditing solutions, SQL Audit provides finer granularity, significant performance improvement, and the ability send audit information to the Windows Application and Security logs.

  • Data Compression

Data compression enables data to be stored more efficiently to reduce the storage requirements for your database. Data compression reduces the storage and manageability cost of your database and provides significant performance improvements for IO bound workloads such as data warehousing.    

Beyond Relational

Categories: SQL 2008
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