Sometimes you have to hit me over the head to make me aware that something's changed. I've been working with Visual Studio 2005 beta 1 for about 10 days now, and just noticed that creating a SQLCLR project (that's [Language of Your Choice]/Database/SQL Server Project) no longer includes a reference to Microsoft.VisualStudio.DataTools.SqlAttributes.dll.

This was the DLL that included deployment attributes for Visual Studio to use when it auto-deployed its SQLCLR assemblies to SQL Server. I only realized this when I saw the [SqlFunction] attribute decorating my new user-defined function, created by Add/NewItem. No more explaining the difference between [SqlFunc] and [SqlFunction]. Hooray! Besides combining those two attributes, all of the attributes are now in System.Data.dll in the System.Data.Sql namespace. And there's a new one (knew about that), SqlFacet.

There are some other interesting things which bear mentioning:
1. The SQLCLR classes generated with add/new item are now partial classes in C#. There's a nice MSDN article that talks about what partial classes are.
2. The security level of the assembly (SAFE/EXTERNAL_ACCESS/UNSAFE) is now a setting in project properties. No more hardcoded EXTERNAL_ACCESS.
3. "Add References" produces a dialog with a subset of base CLR assemblies; they look to be only the CLR assemblies that are "allowed to load" in SQL Server. All other assemblies must be referenced through the "Project" tab, if you want them.

The only drawback to this is that it requires that I write a few more entries in the
"SQL Server 2005 changes since book publication (by chapter)" pages on the "First Look At SQL Server 2005 for Developers" website. Fell off the bleeding edge again, geez. But the degree of improvement in the changes make it worth it.