SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 brings several features such as DAC Framework for easier schema upgrades, new DMVs and XEvents for better supportability, Improved Query Performance with ForceSeek and ForceScan and Disk space control for PowerPivot.
Microsoft recently announced CTP 3 for SQL Server ‘Denali’, which boasts of improved BI capabilities like Self Service Alerting, Self Service Reporting, improved Office integration, SharePoint Shared Service, better VS Tooling for developers and more.
LocalDB is a new version of SQL Express that offers many of the same features, but installs faster, has fewer prerequisites, and doesn’t require management of a database instance. It supports T-SQL, and uses the same client-side providers as other versions of SQL Server, but runs in-process, rather than as a service.
In "Slow in the Application, Fast in SSMS?", SQL Server MVP, Erland Sommarskog, explores the various things that affect Query Plan, compilation of Dynamic SQL and other things that ultimately affect your SQL Server Database Performance. He covers various concepts and scenarios like parameter sniffing, query plan caching, Blocking, saved settings, issues with linked servers and more.
Microsoft System Center Advisor is a new cloud-based service that analyzes installations of Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 (and later versions). It tracks configuration changes and upgrades, and reports on potential issues due to missing security patches, incompatibilities, or deviations from best practices.
Cihan Biyikoglu introduced an upcoming feature for scalability in SQL Azure databases called Federations at Tech Ed 2011. Federations are objects inside the database which allow the data in their contained tables to be distributed across additional databases called federation members. Data can be re-distributed across Federation members at run-time.
Microsoft posted the proposed list of SQL Server Code Name Denali upgrade paths and operating systems, and is soliciting feedback on their selections. Windows XP and 2003 are excluded, and versions of SQL Server may require service pack updates before a new Denali installation.
SQL Server Development Tools (SSDT), codenamed "Juneau", provide a new Visual Studio-based development environment for SQL Server. Some of its features are already available in Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, but SSDT includes some key new additions such as the close integration of Database and Application Projects.
The Balanced Data Distributor is a multithreaded data flow transform tool for SQL Server Integration Services 2008. It's intended to improve performance in multi-core and multi-processor server environments by distributing data to multiple outputs.
Microsoft has announced the availability for download of SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 CTP, including all cumulative updates, and SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Feature Pack CTP1, containing a number of stand alone tools adding more value to SQL Server 2008.
Imagine ad hock data mining queries against a single table with 1 TB of data and 1.44 billion rows coming back in roughly a second. This is the scenario Microsoft intends to support using 32-core machines and their new column-based storage engine.
Horizontal partitioning and sharding are important tools for developers working with extremely large datasets. We take a brief look at what’s available in SQL Server and what’s coming down the road.
Microsoft has released the SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) for MySQL 1.0, and has refreshed SSMA for Oracle v4.2, SSMA for Sybase v4.2, and SSMA for Access v4.2. These toolkits helps customers migrating their MySQL/Oracle/Sybase/Access databases to SQL Server and some even to SQL Azure.
Microsoft has answered what they call “Top Ten Questions on Data”, explaining what has happened or it is going to happen to Oslo, ADO.NET Data Services, WCF, LINQ to SQL, T-SQL and other technologies.
A new build of Service Pack 1 for SQL Server 2008 Express has enabled some support for .NET 4.0. But with a large list of limitations one has to wonder what’s the point.