OK- I know I am behind. It's been a little nutty around here since boy #5 arrived (and I had to shuttle my kids to 3! baseball games last night at three different parks at different times). Anyway, today, I am getting back into the groove.
My buddy, Paul Stubbs, reminded me to include a link to the betas:
Yes, there is the beta 2 for VS, but also the beta for SQL 2005 (I do think we took awfully long to get this product together). SQL 2005 is amazing, and the XML support is really done right. Just having an XML datatype in the db is not so earth-shattering (other DBMS's have done this for a while, but there overall XML support is clunky). SQL 2005 does it right, and, as I mentioned before, I am doing some cool demos using SQL 2005 XML with Excel and Word.
There is a table at the end of the XML Options in Microsoft SQL Server 2005 that is worth printing and tacking inside your burlap-covered cubicle. It is a comparison of different approaches to an SQL Server-based solution. We really ought to expand on what is in that table more fully.
Rock Thought for the Day: I finally own Smashing Pumpkins' "Adore" album. I just never got around to owning it even though I had pretty much everything the band has done, rarities, demos, b-sides, whatever. I am most pleased with the album, the variety, the careful disregard for following in their own footsteps. BTW: I just read that Pavarotti has a secret affinity for 70's prog-metal! I do, too, so I would say he and I are twins at this point.
Here's a link for those of you unfamiliar with prog rock: http://www.progarchives.com/