Phew – last week Kimberly and I spent 3 days teaching the ins-and-outs of SQL Server 2008 for DBAs/IT-Pros to about 130 Microsoft SQL Server experts and MVPs (like Kalen Delaney, Adam Machanic and Ron Talmage). This was the (95% complete) Beta delivery of a course we’ve been developing for the last six months for Microsoft that they’ll use to train their SQL experts around the world on the new release. It’s been very interesting watching the features develop through the CTPs (especially since I left the fold last August) – and making demos work on pre-release builds of the CTPs.


Teaching the course was a *blast* – the thing I love about teaching a really geeky crowd is the plethora of great questions and opportunities for going deep with explanations. Our team actually wrote and delivered the concurrently presented Developer and BI tracks as well. As you can see from the list below (and this is just the features a DBA needs to use/know about), SQL Server 2008 isn’t a dot release of Yukon at all, as some people have suggested. Over the three days we covered:



  • Database Mirroring (D)
  • Backup Compression
  • Peer-to-Peer Replication (D)
  • Transparent Data Encryption (D)
  • Extensible (Off-Box) Key Management
  • All Actions Audited (D)
  • Policy-Based Management
  • Resource Governor (D)
  • Extended Events (D)
  • Spatial Indexes
  • Integrated Full-Text Search
  • Sparse Columns (D)
  • Filtered Indexes
  • Change Tracking
  • Change Data Capture (D)
  • FILESTREAM (D)
  • Performance Data Collection
  • Query Optimizer Enhancements
  • Data Compression (D)
  • Service Broker
  • Partition-Level Lock Escalation (D)

The features marked with a (D) are ones I demo’d during the course (Kimberly demo’d a bunch of the others – especially the tools features). Some of the demos were challenging to make work in time as we only got a pre-CTP6 build mid-January just before we headed off to China.


So why am I posting this? Well, a bunch of these features are in CTP-6, which should be just around the corner, and I have some easy-to-understand demos of them that I’ll be posting here over the next month or so. Also, if this course sounds interesting, Kimberly and I will be teaching it in various configurations over the next year – starting with SQL Connections in April, a soon-to-be-announced class in Iceland in March, and the ITPro portion of TechEd in June.


Watch this space starting next week (today’s the last day of six straight weeks of teaching for us so this weekend’s a break :-))