I started my career as a maintanance programmer, and spent a lot of time searching out and fixing bugs, in existing code and also introduced by required program maintanance. Sometimes at 3am, with a hard deadline for the fix. I believe it shows in the way I present technologies (as in, “these are the intricate details, here’s the gotchas”). Sometimes this way of approaching things comes across as negative, its really just meant to save you a few hours in your middle of the night maintanance/research.
So this might sound a little out a bit out of character, but I must give you the brief list of my 20 favorite new beta 2 developer features so far. These are in no particular order, off the top of my head, and I’m sure I’m leaving some out. Doesn’t even touch things like DTS, RMO, database admin, and data mining stuff. And some were in Beta1, but vastly improved for Beta2. Check em out.
1. Statement level snapshot syntax changes from trace flag to ALTER DATABASE…SET READ_COMMITTED_SNAPSHOT ON.
2. XML SCHEMA COLLECTIONS replace CREATE XML SCHEMA (and DOCUMENT/CONTENT keyword)
3. Secret/key storage (CREATE MASTER KEY, etc)
4. Support of transactions by System.Data.SqlServer
5. Integration of CLR attributes like SqlFunc/SqlFunction
5. Widening of the ENDPOINT concept (see CREATE ENDPOINT)
6. FOR XML PATH
7. XQuery update to Nov 2003 alignment
8. Improvements in TSQL TRY-CATCH
9. RANKING and PARTITIONING functions
10. The new metadata (sys.everything) – more improvements
11. FOR XML … ROOT(). (Hooray)
12. Service Broker routing, protocol, and security changes
13. XML INDEXES improvements and granularity
14. Additions to HTTP ENDPOINT support, sessions, transactions, etc
15. The new “virtual tables” (dynamic metadata info)
16. TSQL Encryption Functions
17. “ValidationMethodName” attribute property in UDTs
18. EXECUTE AS USER= (or LOGIN=) statement as a replacement/extension for SETUSER
19. Dynamic WSDL generation hook in ENDPOINTs FOR HTTP
20. Promotable transactions
At the risk of sounding syncophantic…WOW.