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Learn New Features of SQL Server 2008

posted 2 Sept 2010, 06:33 by Mpelembe   [ updated 2 Sept 2010, 06:36 ]

SQL Server 2008 has come up with lot of new features
especially for Developers, Support DBA's and Business
Intelligence guys.

SQL Server 2008 new features can help you to save upto 30 %
of your MAN hours cost, which you are currently spending on

Lets looks at some of the features,

Transparent Data Encryption

Enable encryption of an entire database, data files, or log
files, without the need for application changes. Benefits of
this include: Search encrypted data using both range and
fuzzy searches, search secure data from unauthorized users,
and data encryption without any required changes in existing

Extensible Key Management

SQL Server 2008 supports third-party key management and HSM


Create and manage auditing via DDL, while simplifying
compliance by providing more comprehensive data auditing.
This enables organizations to answer common questions, such
as, "What data was retrieved?"

Enhanced Database Mirroring

SQL Server 2008 builds on SQL Server 2005 by providing a
more reliable platform that has enhanced database mirroring,
including automatic page repair, improved performance, and
enhanced supportability.

Automatic Recovery of Data Pages

SQL Server 2008 enables the principal and mirror machines to
transparently recover from 823/824 types of data page errors
by requesting a fresh copy of the suspect page from the
mirroring partner transparently to end users and

Log Stream Compression

Database mirroring requires data transmissions between the
participants of the mirroring implementations. With SQL
Server 2008, compression of the outgoing log stream between
the participants delivers optimal performance and minimizes
the network bandwidth used by database mirroring.

Resource Governor

Provide a consistent and predictable response to end users
with the introduction of Resource Governor, allowing
organizations to define resource limits and priorities for
different workloads, which enable concurrent workloads to
provide consistent performance to their end users.

Predictable Query Performance

Enable greater query performance stability and
predictability by providing functionality to lock down query
plans, enabling organizations to promote stable query plans
across hardware server replacements, server upgrades, and
production deployments.

Data Compression

Enable data to be stored more effectively, and reduce the
storage requirements for your data. Data compression also
provides significant performance improvements for large I/O
bound workloads, like data warehousing.

Hot Add CPU

Now You can add CPU on the fly as we can add memory is SQL
Server 2005.

Policy-Based Management

Policy-Based Management is a policy-based system for
managing one or more instances of SQL Server 2008. Use this
with SQL Server Management Studio to create policies that
manage entities on the server, such as the instance of SQL
Server, databases, and other SQL Server objects.

Streamlined Installation

SQL Server 2008 introduces significant improvements to the
service life cycle for SQL Server through the re-engineering
of the installation, setup, and configuration architecture.
These improvements separate the installation of the physical
bits on the hardware from the configuration of the SQL Server
software, enabling organizations and software partners to
provide recommended installation configurations.

Performance Data Collection

Performance tuning and troubleshooting are time-consuming
tasks for the administrator. To provide actionable
performance insights to administrators, SQL Server 2008
includes more extensive performance data collection, a new
centralized data repository for storing performance data,
and new tools for reporting and monitoring.

Language Integrated Query (LINQ)

Enable developers to issue queries against data, using a
managed programming language, such as C# or VB.NET, instead
of SQL statements. Enable seamless, strongly typed,
set-oriented queries written in .NET languages to run
against ADO.NET (LINQ to SQL), ADO.NET DataSets (LINQ to
DataSets), the ADO.NET Entity Framework (LINQ to Entities),
and to the Entity Data Service Mapping provider. Use the new
LINQ to SQL provider that enables developers to use LINQ
directly on SQL Server 2008 tables and columns.

ADO.NET Data Services

The Object Services layer of ADO.NET enables the
materialization, change tracking, and persistence of data as
CLR objects. Developers using the ADO.NET framework can
program against a database, using CLR objects that are
managed by ADO.NET. SQL Server 2008 introduces more
efficient, optimized support that improves performance and
simplifies development.


SQL Server 2008 introduces new date and time data types:
DATE—A date-only type TIME—A time-only type DATETIMEOFFSET—A
time-zone-aware datetime type DATETIME2—A datetime type with
larger fractional seconds and year range than the existing
DATETIME type The new data types enable applications to have
separate data and time types while providing large data
ranges or user defined precision for time values.


Enable database applications to model tree structures in a
more efficient way than currently possible. New system type
HierarchyId can store values that represent nodes in a
hierarchy tree. This new type will be implemented as a CLR
UDT, and will expose several efficient and useful built-in
methods for creating and operating on hierarchy nodes with a
flexible programming model.


Allow large binary data to be stored directly in an NTFS
file system, while preserving an integral part of the
database and maintaining transactional consistency. Enable
the scale-out of large binary data traditionally managed by
the database to be stored outside the database on more
cost-effective storage without compromise.

Integrated Full Text Search

Integrated Full Text Search makes the transition between
Text Search and relational data seamless, while enabling
users to use the Text Indexes to perform high-speed text
searches on large text columns.

Sparse Columns

NULL data consumes no physical space, providing a highly
efficient way of managing empty data in a database. For
example, Sparse Columns allows object models that typically
have numerous null values to be stored in a SQL Server 2005
database without experiencing large space costs.

Large User-Defined Types

SQL Server 2008 eliminates the 8-KB limit for User-Defined
Types (UDTs), allowing users to dramatically expand the size
of their UDTs.

Spatial Data Types

Build spatial capabilities into your applications by using
the support for spatial data. Implement Round Earth
solutions with the geography data type and using geometry
data type. Store polygons, points, and lines that are
associated with projected planar surfaces and naturally
planar data, such as interior spaces.

Backup Compression

Keeping disk-based backups online is expensive and
time-consuming. With SQL Server 2008 backup compression,
less storage is required to keep backups online, and backups
run significantly faster since less disk I/O is required.

Partitioned Table Parallelism Partitions enable
organizations to manage large growing tables more
effectively by transparently breaking them into manageable
blocks of data. SQL Server 2008 builds on the advances of
partitioning in SQL Server 2005 by improving the performance
on large partitioned tables.

Star Join Query Optimizations

SQL Server 2008 provides improved query performance for
common data warehouse scenarios. Star Join Query
optimizations reduce query response time by recognizing data
warehouse join patterns.

Grouping Sets

Grouping Sets is an extension to the GROUP BY clause that
lets users define multiple groupings in the same query.
Grouping Sets produces a single result set that is
equivalent to a UNION ALL of differently grouped rows,
making aggregation querying and reporting easier and faster.

Change Data Capture

With Change Data Capture, changes are captured and placed in
change tables. It captures complete content of changes,
maintains cross-table consistency, and even works across
schema changes. This enables organizations to integrate the
latest information into the data warehouse.

MERGE SQL Statement

With the introduction of the MERGE SQL Statement, developers
can more effectively handle common data warehousing
scenarios, like checking whether a row exists, and then
executing an insert or update.

SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) Pipeline Improvements

SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) Persistent Lookups

The need to perform lookups is one of the most common ETL
operations. This is especially prevalent in data
warehousing, where fact records need to use lookups to
transform business keys to their corresponding surrogates.

Enterprise Reporting Engine

Reports can easily be delivered throughout the organization,
both internally and externally, with simplified deployment
and configuration. This enables users to easily create and
share reports of any size and complexity.

Internet Report Deployment

Customers and suppliers can effortlessly be reached by
deploying reports over the Internet.

Manage Reporting Infrastructure

Increase supportability and the ability to control server
behaviour with memory management, infrastructure
consolidation, and easier configuration through a
centralized store and API for all configuration settings.

Report Builder Enhancements

Easily build ad-hoc and author reports with any structure
through Report Designer.

Forms Authentication Support

Support for Forms authentication enables users to choose
between Windows and Forms authentication.

Report Server Application Embedding

Report Server application embedding enables the URLs in
reports and subscriptions to point back to front-end

Microsoft Office Integration

SQL Server 2008 provides new Word rendering that enables
users to consume reports directly from within Microsoft
Office Word. In addition, the existing Excel renderer has
been greatly enhanced to accommodate the support of
features, like nested data regions, sub-reports, as well as
merged cell improvements. This lets users maintain layout
fidelity and improves the overall consumption of reports
from Microsoft Office applications.

To summarize, SQL Server 2008 is definitely a good
investment for upgrade, looking at the features.

About the Author:

This is DBATAG, working for as
an Sr. Consultant.