I've been busy for the last few weeks putting together a "manifesto" whitepaper about the .NET-based data access stacks and also the possibilities for .NET programmers in the SQL Server product itself. The whitepaper's direct link is here, although its also available via both the MSDN Data Developer Center and the SQL Server 2008 Application Development website. I don't see the arbitrary distinction between application developers who use databases and SQL developers that some do, so writing this paper and covering both was a good fit.
This whitepaper is quite a bit more high-level than others that I've written, meant to be an all-embracing introduction to .NET and SQL Server and point out the possibilities for .NET programmer. While writing this I was stunned at how many integration points there are between .NET and SQL Server. Every part of the SQL Server product uses .NET in one form or another. Check it out.
Even though there's a quite a bit of coverage of futures, the platform is so fluid that it doesn't include the announcement on the rename of ADO.NET Data Services to WCF Data Services and also the announcement of the Open Data Protocol (OData). Follow the links to these announcements.
Hope you like the paper, I had fun writing it…Cheers.