For the last three weeks i have been playing around with SQL Server 2008 (Katmai) CTP. I managed to install it on Windows 2003 server without any problems. Although i would advise people not to install alongside SQL Server 2005. If you want to use management studio of SQL 2008 CTP be sure to use the developer edition CTP, the expression edition only comes with some client tools. Since its a CTP and you only are trying to get your head around new features it is useful to have management studio installedAs with any CTP i didnt know where to start and i found that Chad Boyd ihas listed the new features for Katmai quite extensively on his blog. Since I am just a developer and i filtered the list of features that may be more useful for a developer to look at.. I m planning to plough through one feature at a time and put up some information on this site for people who are interested.
- Data compression (easy to enable/disable online, more efficient data.
- Backup stream compression (server level control or backup statement control, all backup types).
- Resource Governor (create pools and groups to govern, define classifications based on built-in functions, segment resource utilization among groups).
- Policy based management framework (manage via policies vs. scripts, enterprise wide support, automated monitoring/enforcement, etc.).
- Integrate with Microsoft System Centre.
- Extended Events (high perf lightweight tracing infrastructure, NOT sql trace, integrated with ETW).
- Improved datetime data types (100th nanosecond precision (7 digits past second), time zone datetime offset, date only, time only).
- HierarchyID datatype (hierarchical aware data type, ORDPath values, built-in functions, methods, etc.).
- Entity Data Model support (develop 'business entities' vs. tables, model complex relationships, retrieve entities vs. rows/columns).
- Sql Server Change Tracking (Change Data Capture, get 'diff' data changes WITHOUT a comparible value (i.e. datetime, timestamp, etc.)).
- Table Valued Parameters.
- MERGE statement ('upsert' data, also includes deletion functionality).
- Large UDT's (no more 8000 byte limit on CLR based UDTs, no more 8000 byte limit for UDA's).
- Spatial data (GEOMETRY and GEOGRAPHY data types, built-in spatial function support, spatial indexes).
- XML enhancements (support for lax validation, office 12 support, xs:dateTime support, lists/union types, LET FLOWR support, etc.).
- Inline initialization and compound assignment
- New UI and Tools for working with (add/drop/edit functionality within SSMS, Diag tools).
Conversation Priority (set message ordering, send/receive impact, 110 levels).
- Data compression (see above).
- FILESTREAM attribute (get the 'best of both' functionality from BLOBs in the DB vs. BLOBs on filesystem, no more "to blob or not to blob").
- Integrated Full Text Search (FTS fully integrated into DB engine, no external storage, no external service, more efficient and reliable costing).
- Sparse columns (more efficient storage for 'wide' tables with many columns that repeat and don't contain data).
- New index types (spatial indexes, hierarchical indexes, FILTERED indexes (indexes on filtered values within columns), etc.).
- IIS Agnostic Reporting Services Deployment (no IIS required to run RS any longer).Richtext support.
- Enhanced visualiztion (graphing).
- New Word rendering (render reports to Microsoft Word).