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Yes, I know you might still think of SQL 2005 as a new product, but SQL 2008 is nearly with us and there are many reasons why people are looking to upgrade.  Here are a few notes I took during a session today at IT Forum.
Some of the main points of the session were:

  • Managing massive amounts of data on multiple devices
  • Bringing Business Insight to more users and making this simpler
    • There's a fantastic new report writer tool, with excellent visualisation.
  • Spatial data management (at no additional cost)
  • Transparent data encryption
  • Sight and sound data types

Here are the notes I took during the session:

IT Forum SQL 2008

  • In the last 4 years Microsoft has issued zero critical security vulnerabilities compared with another database vendor that has issued around 100 in the same period. So who has the most secure database?
  • The price for SQL 2008 will be the same as SQL 2005.
  • The upgrade experience from 2005 to 2008 will be as seamless as we can hope to make it and certainly better than in previous experiences. Customers should still consider upgrading from 2000 to 2005 as part of a migration journey.
  • Data is everywhere and needs managing. Consider the fact that many laptops can have around 1 TB of storage. How do you manage that type of distributed data model?
  • Transparent data encryption: the application, e.g. SAP, Blackboard or Agresso, does not need any changes for the database to be encrypted.
  • 2008 has enhanced database mirroring to improve performance, thereby resulting in improved resilience. And also has optimised and predictable performance.
  • Connect data from any device such as PC, laptop or phone
  • Beyond relational
    • This means beyond words and numbers to sight and sound - a new data type has been added. This allows documents to be stored in a more cost effective manner. Then users can access these documents as data with full text search, query across relational and text data.
  • New spatial data type
    • Location aware applications to help visualise location information.
      • By the way, this spatial ability is built into all flavours (including the free SQL) at no additional cost.
    • A great example used was how many coffee stores are within 1 km from the route to work? The answer is spatial and not traditional SQL. So the simple thing is to use long/lat as the storage type but when combined with a simple map and http://maps.live.com it's really powerful.
  • Pervasive Insight.
    • What's this? Well, it's the ability to get the data out in a way that makes it useful to the right user communities/individuals in the organisation - to get more value out of their Business Intelligence.
    • Every user with actionable insight - delivers information via MS office with better integration between Word and Excel to bring data mining to a much broader audience
    • New report designer that gives significant ease of use to those every day users.