SQL Server 2008 new features – the list

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.

4 thoughts on “SQL Server 2008 new features – the list

  1. It’s still missing a few major features that haven’t been announced in public yet. Some really good stuff is still not on that list!

    But what is "Persistent Lookups" ? That’s one I haven’t heard before…

  2. Hi Adam,

    Although the blurb is somewhat vague, "Persistent Lookups" may have something to do with the improvement to the SSIS lookup component.


  3. Rich Text Formatting is a must for CMS. We’re currently struggling with SSRS 2005 to have text formatted as XHTML pulled out of the database and presented into the report.
    SSRS 2005 textbox control always renders the HTML tags as markup text.
    Knowing that this feature will be present in SSRS 2008 is of no consolation at present, but it might affect our proposal of whether to stick with SSRS or look for another solution.
    To describe the problem further, we have free entry forms on our application that allow rich text formatting, we should preserve this formatting on our reports.
    So far we’ve been playing with custom render extensions but exporting the report to other formats such as PDF can be an issue.

    Any comment, guidance, suggestion on how to solve this with SSRS 2005 is more than welcome.

  4. Hi Bob,

    I’ve downloaded the katmai product, I was very excited about testing the new backup compression feature, but I can’t find anything related in the Book Online.
    Neither BACKUP nor RESTORE syntax have been updated in new BOLs, so I’m wondering if the backup compression has really been shipped with the version downloadable via CTP.
    In another hand, I can’t find either any remark on the CTP feedback pages about this missing. Am I blind or something ? I bet you have some clues…


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