Monthly Archives: November 2010

SQL Denali

I have been tuned in to both keynotes this week at the SQLPass Summit really wishing I was there. I just was in Seattle 2 week ago as a Microsoft customer visiting and learning about some neat new things coming, some of which is being discussed in these keynotes. Seattle is a great place and I can’t wait to get back and have more time to explore.

There are a lot of new things being presented as being in the next release of SQL code named Denali. Some of it looks promising on many aspects. Here are the things I am very interested in exploring more over the next 6-12 months.

Columnstore Indexes
This is what I’m most excited about. Mainly because I come from a BI backgrounnd and have spent years trying to make DW queries run faster. It’s almost a passion of mine so I’m exicted to take this for a test drive in a real situation. There is a very nice whitepaper that is linked on Simons SQL Blog that explains this way better than I ever could.

SSIS Integration within SSMS or as it would be Visual Studio
The current way that SSIS is supported in SSMS is clunky. Some questions I have right of the bat are. Can you manage SSIS packages stored on the file system or only within MSDB? Can you manage packages across versions which is a problem now? I have SSIS 2005 running and can’t manage from my SSMS 2008. I will be interested to see how this is all going to work.

SSIS Enhancements
The undo seemed to be what most folks in attendance were excited about the demo I saw. What I’m more interested in is the performance gains if any that this version will bring. I don’t recall hearing that mentioned or at least it was not a focus of the demo. The data cleansing piece seemed promising but I have a feeling that the setup and maintenance of the rules etc will make that a feature not well adopted. Every version of this has been a vast improvement so I’m sure this will just be more solid than the last. SSIS Junkie has some great links to explore more of whats in store.

Visual Studio vs SSMS
I’m excited to see the movement towards integrating the DBA’s and the developers tool sets. However I still struggle with how this will all work and the adoption rate. I still have folks using Query Analyzer, old habits are hard to break and yes we still have SQL 2000 instances running production apps. The big win here for me is source control integration with TFS and working in a common tool set. A rough spot at our shop is moving code from Dev/Test/Prod and hope this will improve that process over what we have today. The new features in the demo seemed pretty good and much of what you would could get with add on tools from major vendors built in which was nice to see. I’ll be going there but not sure how this will change the daily lives of the team. Brent Ozar did a nice write-up on some of the features here.

Let’s Go
So at this point I’m excited to get a system up with this on there and touch and feel for myself. In the meantime I’ll keep reading and learning from everyone out there rapidly blogging and documenting what they are finding. Enjoy and let me know what features interest you the most.