New SQL Server 2008 Date/Time-related types and ADO.NET

I've been looking at the mapping of the new Katmai date/time data types to .NET types, both from the point of view of SQL Server ADO.NET clients and of SQLCLR procedures/functions/triggers. There are a couple of things that "interesting", if I'm not misunderstanding something obvious.

There are no new System.Data.SqlTypes to correspond to the new SQL Server data types. The beta Visual Studio docs state this as a fact. So, unless SQLCLR supports the generic Nullable types as parameters in Katmai, you'll pass these in and out as strings. Or only use them in UDFs with RETURNS NULL ON NULL INPUT. No word yet (that I'm aware of) on Nullable type support in SQL Server 2008, BUT the new HierarchyID type (which is .NET based) supports INullable, like SqlTypes do. So I can pass in a NULL HierarchyID to SQLCLR, but not a NULL TIME parameter.

SQL Server's TIME data type is mapped to TimeSpan, which is a time interval. data type. This might confuse folks that know SQL Server doesn't support SQL-99's date/time interval data types. But the TimeSpan seems to have appropriate semantics as long as you stay away from the "Days" related properties and methods.

There is a new .NET data type for DATETIMEOFFSET, System.DateTimeOffset. That's good.

To distinguish between SQL Server 2000/2005/2008 usage/mappings, there is a (client-side) connection string parameter: "Type System Version". You have a choice of 2008, 2005, 2000, or "Latest". This was already used in SQL Server 2005 to distinguish between 2005 (XML data type exists) vs 2000 (XML data type is a long string). And other distinctions.

I wonder if LINQ for SQL and Entity Framework will support these… 😉

One thought on “New SQL Server 2008 Date/Time-related types and ADO.NET

  1. Hi Bob,

    For a .NET application which is going to support both SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008, I guess I should set the Type System Version to SQL Server 2005 and it should not be matter whether the .NET application is developed using VS2005 or VS2008.


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