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Microsoft last week rolled out the first Release Candidate of SQL Server 2008. The RC0 bits are available for public download here. I have been playing with SQL 2008 RC0 for a few days already, and I would like to share my experience in this quick blog post.

First of all, I have to warn you that my RC0 installation experience was not pleasant at all. If you are an early adopter of new releases like me, you will very likely run into the same troubles I had.

Previous CTP releases of SQL Server 2008 "Katmai" must be uninstalled first. The annoying part was the installation requirement check process doesn't warn you about the previous installations. Instead, it reports a fatal error as soon as the installation has started, because the system database files are being overwritten.

SQL Server 2005 Express can NOT exist on the machine where you are installing RC0. The installation wizard will tell you the check on "SQL Server 2005 Express Tools" fails and it must be uninstalled. I had a hard time looking for "Express tools" so I ended up uninstalling the entire SQL Server 2005 Express. Remember to reboot your machine before you attempt to install RC0 again :-)

I am not a SQL guy so I have played with the management studio for the most part. First thing I noticed was the splash screen is prettier than the SQL 2005 :-)

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IntelliSense, introduced in the Feb 2008 CTP of SQL Server 2008, is still available in RC0. Please refer to my previous blog post if you want to know more about the IntelliSense in SQL 2008.

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Real-time syntax check is a feature I missed in my previous blog. But yeah it's also very cool.

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An out-of-the-box Activity Monitor is provided to DBAs for real-time monitoring the health of the database server.

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The most stunning new feature in RC0, I have to say, is the query debugging in the management studio. If you have paid attention to the previous screen shots, you should've noticed the new "Debug" button in the toolbar already.

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I have two queries ready to go in the window above. Now let's hit the green debug button. What are you expecting?

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Very nice! Our favorite yellow debug arrow is showing up in the SQL management studio now. Press F10 to step over the first query. We have got the first record set already in the result panel, and the second query is waiting to be executed.

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The debugging can be really helpful when you need to investigate some logics in the database. Here's a better example.

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How many times have you copied a result set into Excel and manually added the headers to the sheet? And for how long have you been doing this? SQL 2000, SP1, 2,3,4, SQL 2005, SP1, SP2, SQL 2008 "Katmai', July 2007 CTP, Feb 2008 CTP...

Well, the folks at Redmond could've made our life easy a long time back. I don't know why we've waited so long for such a small feature. "Copy with Headers" is finally here, in RC0 of SQL 2008.

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I have the feeling that I probably will have to publish another blog post about the new features in SQL 2008 RC0. There're just too many things to cover. I am certainly looking forward to your comments as well, if you happen to discover other cool stuff before I do.

Posted on Thursday, June 19, 2008 11:06 PM SQL Server 2008 , SQL Server | Back to top


Comments on this post: Experience SQL Server 2008 RC0

# re: Experience SQL Server 2008 RC0
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It looks pretty cool. It's nice to see it becoming more IDE like, since that's effectively what it is.

Although I think that I'll hold off on this release, I'm not ready to uninstall my 2005 express just yet!
Left by Carl on Jun 20, 2008 5:38 AM

# re: Experience SQL Server 2008 RC0
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non expert posting a blog on tech product
Left by bored on Nov 14, 2008 1:34 AM

# re: Experience SQL Server 2008 RC0
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I like your represented way.This is very attractive especially for images.Thank you so much for providing more details on the Sql Server. Your tutorial worked like a charm. Many Thanks!!
Left by accepted online casinos to play on Sep 27, 2010 4:33 AM

# re: Experience SQL Server 2008 RC0
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Your site is very useful.
Left by Rob Miller on Jun 17, 2011 4:58 AM

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