I meant to blog from TechEd but with all the activity, I never got the time. The talk on when to use T-SQL and when to use SQLCLR drew an overflow crowd, and folks seemed to really like it. Thanks to all of you who attended.
To attempt to summarize in one sentence, the “official” T-SQL vs SQLCLR positioning exists in the paper, “Using CLR Integration in SQL Server 2005” by Balaji Rathakrishnan, Christian Kleinerman, Brad Richards, Ramachandran Venkatesh, Vineet Rao. Since this is the list of folks who designed the product, it lays out the trade-offs and intended usage. Although the specifics have changed a bit since the paper was written (combined provider replacing SqlServer provider, new UDF coding style, etc) the paper’s main points are just as valid today as they were when it was originally written, according to the authors.
Other than the talk, I spent a lot of time at the SQL Server cabana, hanging out with Kent Tegels and the folks on the SQL Server team, answering and asking questions. I especially enjoyed the “SQL Server 2005 BI Power Hour” talk, showing off use cases for SQL Server Integration Services, Reporting Services, Analysis Services, and Notification Services. My favorite demo showed how Reporting Services could be used to design a template for a Notification Services message by Shyam Pather. Very cool, Shyam. I hope we’ll be seeing many more ways to integrate the various SQL Server 2005 product features in future.
I also spent quite a lot of time catching up with many old friends who I haven’t seen in a long time. And also making some new friends. I don’t do a lot of conferences as a rule, but this one was well worth it.