SQL Server 2005 beta 2 is now available for MSDN subscribers on the MSDN website. Although it’s not yet listed in the “what’s hot” section, it’s available under Servers/SQL Server/SQL Server 2005. I’ve got a few initial observations upon downloading it and installing it.
1. Read the readme file (ReadmeSQL2005.htm). Although this usually goes without saying, there are some common installation considerations in there that can save you time or even a reinstall (e.g., Changing the Service Account is not yet supported).
2. Read the known issues file (sqlki.sql). It’s worth giving it a quick read to start, and, if something you’ve heard was going to be in beta 2 doesn’t work the way you think it should have, go back to this file as a “first resort”.
3. When installing SQL Server 2005 Beta 2 and Visual Studio Beta 1 together, realize they have slightly different versions of the .NET CLR. Beta 2 has 40607.42, VS Beta 1 has 40607.16. They’re compatible, but you have to run the .42 version of the CLR. Check the readme for details.
4. The SQL Express version that shipped with Visual Studio Beta 1 is not Beta 2. I’ve already discovered one difference; SQL Express can use “FOR XML” with user-defined-type columns, in Beta 2 this produces an “unsupported” error message. There is a newer version of SQL Express released on MSDN subscriptions…or install the Developer’s Edition of Beta 2.
2 Responses to Beta 2 available. Some first observations.
Regarding the FOR XML difference. SQL Express maps the UDTs to a binary representation with FOR XML. This is not what should happen in the final product. Instead an XML representation should occur. Until that is implemented, we decided to raise an error in Beta2.
Thanks for the information and background, Michael. I remember the binary representation and was just pointing this out as an example of a difference between the Beta2 SQL Express preview and the real Beta2. Not complaining about the choice. Glad to hear its on the list for future.
BTW, I’m becoming more of a "fan" of FOR XML PATH each day.