The data access team (known as DataWorks) has started up a team blog. Some of the individual team members, like Angel Saenz-Badillos and Sushil Chordia, have been blogging for a while, this one has posts from all members.

One of the first posts was information about the upcoming SqlClient and SqlServer provider unification by Pablo Castro. The unified provider isn't in Feb CTP, but will be in an upcoming release soon. Pablo mentions that SqlConnection and other classes that can be shared between providers will be, but that SqlContext will still be retained for in-database- specific classes. By my calculations, that leaves (as in-database-specific):

SqlPipe – encapsulates a data stream back to the client
SqlTriggerContext – provides information in a SQLCLR trigger
WindowsIdentity – used for impersonation when accessing external resources (e.g. files) where you need a Windows identity

The only thing that I'll miss is the SqlDefinition/SqlExecutionContext classes. I'd been told those won't be in for this time; hopefully they're in the next major release.

They'll also be an upcoming in-depth article when the unified provider ships.

Thanks, Pablo! And Alyssa!