I'm working three days in the SQL Server lounge area - Tuesday mid-day, Wednesday morning, and Friday morning.  I'm also delivering an all new version of my popular session "SQL Server Performance Benchmarking & Monitoring.  The crowds are thick and energetic.  The technology is fresh.  And the momentum seems to be very positive!

You can see my session, along with everyone else's at https://www.msteched.com/public/sessions.aspx.  Remember - you can buy a conference DVD after the event.  So check out the sessions to see if there's anything that you might want to buy the DVD to get at. 

I also wanted to let you know about a key SQL Server announcements that Microsoft is making at TechEd that you should be aware of:<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

·         The name for the next release of SQL Server™: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, formerly code-named SQL Server “Katmai,” and the delivery of the first SQL Server 2008 Community Technology Preview (CTP), now available for customer download at http://www.microsoft.com/sql/prodinfo/futureversion/default.mspx.  The press release is shown below.

·         The acquisition of Dundas Data Visualization Inc.’s Data Visualization products, which provide rich charting within SQL Server Reporting Services, enabling users to create information-rich reports and applications

Check http://connect.microsoft.com/sqlserver for the Katmai CTP download files.  It's very popular at the moment, so expect delays.  They gave away 3000 DVDs at the SQL Server booth in the first few hours of the exhibit hall today.  So I expect even more folks will be trying to get it on-line.  And if you decide to install it right away, take my advice and only install Katmai on either a virtual machine or a dev machine that you can rebuild at any time.

Cheers,

-Kevin

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With the SQL Server “Katmai” June CTP release, customers can immediately utilize new capabilities that support their mission-critical platform and enable pervasive insight across the enterprise. June CTP lays the groundwork for innovative policy-based management that enables administrators to reduce their time spent on maintenance tasks. June CTP  provides enhancements in the SQL Server BI platform by enabling customers to provide up-to- date information with Change Data Capture and MERGE features, And develop highly scalable analysis services cubes with new development environments.

Mission-critical platform

Declarative Management Framework (DMF)

Declarative Management is a new policy-based management framework for the SQL Server Database Engine that delivers the following benefits:

·         Ensure compliance with policies for system configuration

·         Prevent/monitor changes to the system by authoring policies for the desired configuration

·         Reduce total cost of ownership by simplifying administration tasks

 

Pervasive Insight

Change Data Capture (CDC)

·         Change Data Capture (CDC) is a generic component that will track database changes asynchronously and expose the changes through a relational interface which can be consumed easily.

·         Through this interface, consumers can very easily track changes based on their specific requirements and consume the change data  using T-SQL or other data access methods.

 

MERGE  SQL Statement

·         Common data warehouse scenarios require developers to either insert information or update information. SQL Server 2008 will provide new statements within the SQL language to enable developers to provide this functionality with a single statement.

 

VSTA Support for the Script Task and Component

  • Auto migration – Existing script components in SQL Server 2005 will automatically invoke the new VSTA environment, which makes the migration of old script components seamless.

  • C# support - With this improvement, SSIS package developers will be able to code in C#, along with existing Visual Basic .NET

  • Debugging – Standard VS debugging features are also fully enabled in this new environment.

 

Star Join Query Optimizations

·         For improved query performance for common data warehouse scenarios, Star Join Query optimizations reduce query response time by recognizing data warehouse join patterns.

AS Dimension Design: Improved Supportability and Integration of Best Practices

·         Enhance UI for creating and editing dimensions to guide users toward designs that follow best practices. 

·         These include: Finish Attribute Relationship Designer, Dimension structure (presentation of attribute relationships), modification to wizards to align output with best practices, simplifying creation of composite keys, and AMO warnings (spanning all objects, not just dimensions)

Developer Productivity

Table Value Parameters

·         In many customer scenarios, it is necessary to pass a set of table structured values (rows) to a stored procedure/function on the server. These values may be used for populating/updating a table directly or for more complex manipulation of data for business logic purpose. Table valued parameter will provide an easier way to define a table type as well as allow applications to create, populate and pass table structured parameters to stored procedures and functions.

June CTP  builds upon the robust platform of SQL Server 2005 and continues to improve the functionality in key areas like Manageability and Replication. For a complete list of June CTP  features and enhancements, please refer to the Readme file included in the download.