SQL 2008 – impressions

I started playing with the RC0 of SQL 2008 yesterday. So far, I like it. There are some things that don’t quite work the way I would like (intellisense) but overall it looks good. I’m going to talk briefly about some of the features that I quite liked.

First, enhancements and changes to the client tools. I’ll talk about some of the new engine features sometime next week.

Multi-server queries

I’ve spoken about this before, and it’s still a feature I really like. The icing on the cake here… the servers involved in the query don’t have to be SQL 2008. They don’t even have to be the same version. It works for SQL 2008, 2005, 2000 and even SQL 7 boxes.

This offers a really quick way for someone responsible for multiple servers of different versions to check settings, change passwords (like sa), create standard database or tables, etc


There’s been a lot said about the policy-based management and I’m not going to repeat all of that. Policies are great, they are going to vastly simplify the management of SQL 2008, etc, etc.

What does have me excited however is that the policies are not exclusive to SQL 2008. In the new management studio, in the registered servers window it is possible to evaluate a policy or set of policies against a server or a group of servers. The policies can either be stored in the file system, or on a SQL 2008 server. The awesome thing is that the servers that the policy is evaluated against don’t all have to be SQL 2008. They can be SQL 2005 or even SQL 2000. The policies still get checked and deviations get noted.

This is absolutely fantastic for anyone who maintains a set of servers of different versions. It’s now child’s play to check a whole bunch of servers for adherence to a standard.

Activity monitor

A nice way to get an overview of the server’s performance. It auto-updates itself, making it more useful that the dashboard reports of SQL 2005. I can see this been the first place to look if a server is suddenly running slower than usual.

Anything that helps find the cause of performance problems easily is good in my books.


T-SQL debugging in management studio with much the same feel as visual studio. About time!

Breakpoints, watch window, call stack, step over, step into, etc, etc, all the debugging features that the front end coders have had for so long.

I am not going to miss having to use print statements to debug. šŸ˜‰

I haven’t tested to see if this works when running queries against 2005 or lower versions. I’ll check it out tomorrow and update this post with the result


  1. Saggi Neumann


    Nice post! šŸ™‚

    We could debug stored procedures in SQL 2005 using the visual studio, and we even had that in SQL 2000 within the Query Analyzer.

    S. Neumann

  2. Gail


    I forgot about Query analyser. Been quite some time since I used that.

    I like that this debugging is built right into the query window. Also, it’s not just for stored procedures, like QA’s one was. Any piece of SQL written in the query window can be stepped through. I still need to investigate how it interacts with procedures, functions, triggers and CLR objects.


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