by December 17, 2005 0 comments

In the world of enterprise-class database servers, there
are only a few contenders from the top vendors such as Oracle, IBM and
Microsoft. In the last few years, the competition has come down to between the
two top databases-Oracle and SQL Server, the latter, however, has not had a
major release in almost five years! Microsoft has

finally  released a new version of their flagship database named SQL Server
2005. This version comes with a large number of exciting new enhancements that
can make the life of an administrator and a developer much more simple.

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 
Std Edition: Rs 293,434, Enterprise Edition: Rs 12,22,174
Meant For:
Developers, database administrators 
Key Specs:
New mgmt studio for database tasks, integrated notification, .NET integration, native XML support 
New engine, tons of new features for programming, security, scalability & stabilty
Cons: None
Microsoft India.
RQS# E60 or SMS 131260 to 9811800601
The new SQL Server Management Studio is the new integrated management interface for SQL Server 2005

New engine
SQL 2005 comes with a completely rewritten database engine, which is not
only revamped but also has many new features.

CLR integration: SQL Server 2005’s core engine is
now written in .NET and supports .NET for developers as well. This means that
you can now do a lot of stuff using your favorite .NET language rather than
resorting to crude stored procedure hacks or getting into serious API based
database development. For instance, you can create stored procedures, user
defined functions and datatypes all using a .NET language like C# or VB. As an
example, consider the case of wanting to retrieve records from a table that
match a particular pattern. Normally, in SQL there is no way that you can do it.
A crude hack would be to use sub-string methods to compare patterns. However,
with CLR integration in the engine, you can quickly create a UDF that uses the
.NET RegEx object to perform this comparison in a single step as well as give a
better performance. You can use VS05 to create this quite easily.

XML Enhancements: XML has become a de-facto standard
in extensibility and data interchange over disparate environments. SQL 2005
natively supports XML and related technologies. At the most basic end, XML is
now a native data type in SQL. This means that you can create database tables
that have a column of type XML. On the higher end, SQL supports XQuery (a
language for querying XML data), T-SQL enhancements for XML, native XML Web
services support, XML Schemas for validating structures and data being entered
into the XML data type.

T-SQL: SQL Server’s native Structured Query
Language is named Transact-SQL. This too has been enhanced significantly to
support many new features such as distributed queries, ranking, pivoting, etc.

Notification services
When you develop a database application-desktop or Web based-each time
the application has to show data, it requests it from the database server. But
how does the application know whether the data has changed or not since the last
time it requested the data. This is where Notification Services comes in. An
application can ‘register’ itself with the notification service giving the
conditions it wants to monitor — say a particular table and inserts into it.
Now whenever this action takes place, say by someone else inserting some data
into that table, the SQL notification service recognizes this and sends a
notification alert back to the application. The app can capture this event and
then perform some action on it- say refreshing the display with new data.

Reporting services
Data is of no use if you cannot retrieve useful information out of it. SQL
2005 has an integrated Reporting Services engine that lets you create, edit,
view and manage reports from different data sources. You can retrieve data from
other databases, Web services, etc. You can then design the reports in a easy
interface and manage who can view and change these reports.

Interface changes
The old Enterprise Manager and Query Analyzer applications are things of the
past. SQL 2005 comes with a completely new management interface named SQL Server
Management Studio. This looks and works very similarly to the familiar VS
interface. You can perform all the tasks that you did using different
applications in SQL 2000 within this single new interface.

Business intelligence
Extracting information from data is just the first step. Making analytical
business intelligence come out of it is a different ball game altogether.
Analysis Services and a new Business Intelligence Development Studio allows you
to get into this and really get the analysis you really require.

Bottom Line: SQL Server 2005 is a significant new
version of MS’s top level database server. It is highly recommended for its
security, stability and scalability.

Vinod Unny,



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