Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals (Team Data) is a long-overdue tool from Microsoft that lets database professionals better control and deploy SQL Server 2005 and 2000 database schema changes. Team Data's features include database schema source control, database object refactoring, database schema and data comparison, and unit testing. Part of the Visual Studio Team Edition family, it's not bundled with SQL Server 2005, so you'll need to purchase it separately. Before you take that leap, I'd like to point you to some great Microsoft resources where you can find more information about Team Data.

5. Videos and Webcasts

One of the quickest (although not always the most exciting) ways to get up to speed quickly is to watch technical presentations. You can find seven Webcasts and eight short videos about Team Data's features at the Database Team Professional Center: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/enus/teamsystem/aa718764.aspx

4. Microsoft Blogs

To get an insider's view of Team Data, check out these blogs by Microsoft product managers (two of whom, Matt Nunn and Richard Waymire, also write for SQL Server Magazine).

They offer news about the product, best practices, samples, and discussions about how companies have deployed Team Data.

3. Team Data FAQs

Microsoft's Team Data Web page provides information about the trial version. The site also explains features such as version control and refactoring: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/teamsystem/aa718913.aspx

2. Team Data Forum

Another great resource is Microsoft's Team Data MSDN forum, which is frequented by many of the product managers. Here, you can get answers to many of your questions: http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/showforum.aspx?forumid=725&siteid=1

1. Trial Edition

The best way to learn about a product, of course, is by trying it. You can download a 180-day trial version that runs on Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows XP SP2, and Windows 2000 SP4. You'll also need to have installed either the retail or trial edition of Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite Edition. Download the trial version at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=7de00386-893d4142-a778-992b69d482ad&displaylang=en