Top 10 T-SQL Enhancements in SQL Server 2008

As SQL Server 2008 is getting in the advances phases of release, a lot has been published about new features and changes. There have been a few enhancements to Transact SQL that will be a great help for both developers and administrators. Here is list of the top 10 in no particular order, with links to detailed examples. In other words:

SELECT TOP(10) t_sql_enhancements

FROM SQLServer2008

ORDER BY CHECKSUM(NEWID());

• Delighters: http://pratchev.blogspot.com/2008/04/delighters-in-sql-server-2008.html
• Row constructors: http://pratchev.blogspot.com/2008/01/table-value-constructors-in-sql-server.html
• MERGE: http://pratchev.blogspot.com/2008/03/upsert-and-more-with-merge.html
• Composable DML: http://pratchev.blogspot.com/2008/04/composable-dml.html
• Table valued parameters: http://pratchev.blogspot.com/2008/04/table-valued-parameters.html
• Filtered indexes: http://pratchev.blogspot.com/2008/04/filtered-indexes.html
• Sparse columns: http://pratchev.blogspot.com/2008/04/sparse-columns.html
• Hierarchy ID: http://pratchev.blogspot.com/2008/05/hierarchies-in-sql-server-2008.html
• Date and Time data types: http://pratchev.blogspot.com/2008/05/new-date-and-time-data-types.html
• FILESTREAM data type: http://pratchev.blogspot.com/2008/05/filestream-data-type.html

Here are a few more that did not make the list (casualty of random ordering) but are still of importance:

• Spatial data (GEOMETRY and GEOGRAPHY): http://pratchev.blogspot.com/2008/06/spatial-support-in-sql-server.html
• Grouping Sets: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb522495(SQL.100).aspx
• Table hints: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb510478(SQL.100).aspx
• Star join query optimizations: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc434693(TechNet.10).aspx
• T-SQL debugger: http://blogs.msdn.com/buckwoody/archive/2008/04/25/sql-server-2008-management-improvements-t-sql-debugger.aspx

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