Microsoft has committed itself to releasing product protocols through its' Open Specifications program. To that end, the SQL Server team just released updates to 25 existing and new specifications on June 29th, 2010. These are a free download. Here is the list:

 

1.     Microsoft Complex Event Processing Engine Manageability Protocol Specification

2.     SharePoint Web Services: DataSet DiffGram Structure Specification

3.     Tabular Data Stream Protocol Version 4.2

4.     SQL Server System Overview

5.     SQL Server Protocols Master Reference

6.     Native Web Services Protocol Specification

7.     Master Data Services Web Service Specification

8.     Database Publishing Wizard Protocol Specification

9.     Microsoft SQL Server CLR Types Serialization Formats

10.   SQL Server Analysis Services Version 8.0 Protocol Specification

11.   SQL Server Analysis Services Protocol Specification

12.   SqlClient Connection String Structure Specification

13.   Report Server Web Service Specification for SharePoint Forms Authentication: ReportServiceAuthentication

14.   Report Server Web Service Specification for Report Management for SharePoint Mode:  ReportService2006

15.   Report Server Web Service Specification for Report Management for Native Mode:  ReportService2005

16.   Report Server Web Service Specification for Report Management:  ReportService2010

17.   Report Server Web Service Specification for Report Execution:  ReportExecution2005

18.   Report Page Layout (RPL) Binary Stream Format Structure Specification

19.   Remote GDI+ (RGDI) Binary Stream Format Structure Specification

20.   Report Definition Language File Format Structure Specification

21.   OLEDB Connection String Structure Specification

22.   ODBC Connection String Structure Specification

23.   DataSet DiffGram Structure Specification

24.   SQL Server Binary XML Structure Specification

25.   XML Serialization of Synchronization Knowledge Specification

 

 

A lot of this is very deep and technical so you might wonder what value do they provide?

 

Well, they help anyone who needs to know how data flows within SQL Server. They could, possibly, help with an intractable debugging issue. Maybe your security/firewall team insists on knowing exactly what SQL Server sends across the network before they alter their firewall policies?

 

The benefit is that these protocols are not in a “black box” and if you want or need to get down to that level then you can.

 

Check out the following links for more details.

 

SQL Server Protocols Readme in .PDF format

http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/9/3/79326e29-1e2e-45ee-aa73-74043587b17d/[[ReadmefirstSQL]].pdf

 

SQL Server Protocols in a single 31 MB .ZIP file

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=120223

 

Link to download individual SQL Server Protocols .PDF files

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=91EF5106-944A-41E1-B3A0-5BD3F2356F32&displaylang=en

 

Forum for Using the Microsoft SQL Server Protocols

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=115249