What’s New in MS-SQL 2008

Q. Can you tell me more about MS SQL Server 2008? What’s new in MS-SQL Server 2008?

A. Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system (RDBMS) produced by Microsoft. Its primary query languages are MS-SQL and T-SQL.

The latest version of SQL Server, SQL Server 2008 (code-named “Katmai”) and aims to make data management self-tuning, self organizing, and self maintaining with the development of SQL Server Always On technologies, to provide near-zero downtime.

SQL Server 2008 include support for:

  • Structured and semi-structured data
  • Examples: digital media formats for pictures, audio, video and other multimedia data.
    In current versions, such multimedia data can be stored as BLOBs (binary large objects), but they are generic bitstreams. Intrinsic awareness of multimedia data will allow specialized functions to be performed on them.
  • SQL Server 2008 can be a data storage backend for different varieties of data: XML, email, time/calendar, file, document, spatial, etc as well as perform search, query, analysis, sharing, and synchronization across all data types.
  • Other new data types include specialized date and time types and a Spatial data type for location-dependent data.
  • Better support for unstructured and semi-structured data is provided using the FILESTREAM data type has been added, which can be used to reference any file stored on the file system.
  • Structured data and metadata about the file is stored in SQL Server database, whereas the unstructured component is stored in the file system.
  • Backing up and restoring the database backs up or restores the referenced files as well.
    SQL Server 2008 also natively supports hierarchical data, and includes T-SQL constructs to directly deal with them, without using recursive queries.

Differences Between the Different MS-SQL Server Editions

Few quick differences:

SQL Server 2008 Express

A lightweight version which includes the core database functionality in a small footprint. Useful for learning and building smaller desktop and server applications. Can function without network access while still connecting easily with a central database when needed. Database is stored in a single file for easy portability. This is useful for students or small business.

SQL Server 2008 Standard

The standard SQL Server package. Does not include enterprise management or data warehousing tools. Designed for a small to medium scale environment. Includes stand-alone services.

SQL Server 2008 Workgroup

SQL Server with remote synchronization and management capabilities, along with the core database functionality. Includes features designed for off-site and branch storage, reporting, and synchronization. Does not include stand-alone services.

SQL Server 2008 Web

A high available solution geared toward Internet-facing servers. Includes police-based management and publishing tools for customer deployment. Supports high scalability with memory and database size. This version also supports increased integration with .NET over previous versions.

SQL Server 2008 Enterprise

A comprehensive package including the core database functionality with the maximum in scalability, performance, security, availability, and enterprise management of server clusters. This edition is great for consolidating servers and for using in large-scale processing of information.

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