So, I’m at SeaTac Airport and I have my PASS (Professional Association for SQL Server) backpack (I did part of a keynote there this year). Someone asks me about the conference and we start talking about Yukon and Visual Studio (and yes, I feel like Scoble <g>). Anyway, one interesting question was what did I think was the key gain from adding the .NET CLR into SQL Server?

I think that while people tend to focus on things like the in-process version of ADO.NET, and moving some of their middle-tier code to the server, that’s not really the sweet spot. In my opinion, the big deal is that you can create functions that can be called from your T-SQL stored procedures. It opens up your stored procedures to a range of functions that were difficult to do in the past. As I said in my keynote, T-SQL is a great data-oriented language, and is the right way to do heavy data manipulation. The CLR languages are great at doing things like math and string manipulation. For instance, if you have to convert from hex to decimal, a CLR function is a lot easier than T-SQL. Or, if you want to use the great encryption classes from the CLR to encrypt/decrypt your data – the best way is with some VB/C# code that can be called from your T-SQL procedures.

What types of things excite you about the upcoming Yukon release?