SQL Server 2008 CTP Released
Microsoft today released the first community technology preview of SQL Server 2008, the official name for a solution that was initially code-named "Katmai." The announcement was made here in Orlando at the Microsoft TechEd Conference.
Katmai is set to ship in 2008 and the company is making it a central plank of its push into the business intelligence space. But Redmond is also building a number of developer-specific capabilities into the next-gen server release. Those capabilities include the ADO.NET Entity Framework and the Language Integrated Query (LINQ).
Developers can use the Entity Framework to program against data defined in a conceptual way, instead of having to work with information organized in tables and columns.
"With the Entity Framework, we’re essentially programming at the conceptual level rather than at a logical level or a physical level," Francois Ajenstat, director of product management, SQL Server, previously told Redmond Developer News.
LINQ enables developers to tap various sources from within VB.NET and C#. The LINQ to Entities specification will ship as part of the Entity Framework, and, like it, will be supported by Visual Studio tools.
Other improvements slated for SQL Server 2008 include added support for various data types, including spatial and unstructured data.
In related SQL Server news, Microsoft on Monday also announced it had acquired technology from Dundas Data Visualization Inc. for the creation of charting in SQL Server Reporting Services.