There was a fairly well-known Powerpoint slide that attempted to summarize the new SQL Server 2005 features in bullet points of a single slide. By the release, there were so many new features, the feature list had to be rendered in a 5-point font to fit. At TechEd 2007, Microsoft presented the new features of SQL Server 2008 (was: SQL Server Katmai) in an analogous format. Although it’s not yet down to a 5-point font, there are quite a few impressive new features on tap. Here’s the list, modulo (my own) potential spelling errors. There is currently a CTP of SQL Server 2008 as well as beta1 of the next version of Visual Studio.NET (Orcas) and the ADO.NET synchronization framework. The features I can find in the current betas have asterisks. [Note: Asterisks updated for the July CTP]

Transparent Data Encryption
External Key Management
Data Auditing
Pluggable CPU
Transparent Failover for Database Mirroring
Declarative Management Framework*
Server Group Management*
Streamlined Installation*
Enterprise System Management*
Performance Data Collection*
System Analysis*
Data Compression
Query Optimization Modes
Resource Governor
Entity Data Model*
Visual Entity Designer*
Entity Aware Adapters

SQL Server Change Tracking*
Synchronized Programming Model*
Visual Studio Support*
SQL Server Conflict Detection
FILESTREAM data type
Integrated Full Text Search
Sparse Columns
Large User Defined Types*
Date/Time Data Type*
LOCATION data type
SPATIAL data type
Virtual Earth Integration
Partitioned Table Parallelism
Query Optimizations*
Persistent Lookups
Change Data Capture*
Backup Compression
MERGE SQL Statement*
Data Profiling
Star Join*

Enterprise Reporting Engine*
Internet Report Deployment
Block Computations
Scale out Analysis
BI Platform Management
Export to Word and Excel
Author reports in Word and Excel
Report Builder Enhancements
Rich Formatted Data
Personalized Perspectives
… and many more

It should be straightforward to eventually produce a 5-point slide because these features haven’t made “the list” yet.

Grouping Sets*
Table-valued parameters*
Table-valued constructors*
“Delighters” (1-stmt variable declaration/assignment, increment operators)*
HierarchyID data type*
Large User Defined Aggregates
New versions of ODBC driver*, OLE DB provider*, and ADO.NET data provider
SQLCE Version 3.5*
Database Mirroring Enhancements*
Data Mining Algorithm Enhancements*
SSIS support for the new date/time data types*
SSIS VSTA support*

That’s an impressive set of features. And I’m pretty certain, since this is a summary, that’s there are more to come.