25 Jan 98
SQL Enterprise Manager
The SQL Enterprise Manager is integrated with the Microsoft Management Console and has a whole new "look and feel". You cannot use it to administer 6.x or 4.2 servers. You have to use the old Enterprise Manager.
The Visual Data Tools, which have been shipping with the Enterprise Edition of VB 5 and Visual Studio, are embedded in Enterprise Manager.
There are wizards for everything (database creation, maintenance, alerts, security, import/export, replication, stored procs, etc.)
SQL Server Agent
Alerting will allow thresholds as well as the current response to error messages.
Jobs can be multi-step and allow conditional execution.
Jobs can be defined once and downloaded to many servers. Once a job is handed off to a server, it has a life of its own and can be scheduled at different frequencies, etc.
SQL Server Profiler
The old SQL Trace has emerged in a new form which is much more powerful. In 6.5, SQL Trace used ODS and picked the queries "off the wire". In 7.0, it is inside the engine. This means that it can see what stored procs are doing, which it couldnt before. It has the ability to playback a series of events. It has a much better filtering capability, though I didnt see the ability to filter on specific SQL statements. It may well still be there. It can organize results by execution time, object, and so forth. It has a nice drill-down interface. You can save information to use as a workload for the Index Tuning Wizard.
Index Tuning Wizard
This takes a workload (set of queries) and figures out what indexes best suit the queries. It interacts with the query optimizer in doing this. It does not deal with concurrent users in this process.
I personally have a great distrust of wizards and am anxious to see if it is as good as I am!
SQL Server Query Analyzer
This is a "new look" ISQL/W which doesnt actually look all that different. It has a graphical SHOWPLAN that is much better than the 6.0 version. There is an "auto pilot" which will suggest indexes for a single query. The editor uses color-coding like other Microsoft products. You can direct the results to a grid, which makes it much easier to read them. You can shrink column widths so that there is more data visible in the results window.
The goal is to eliminate the need to run DBCC on a regular basis. There will be new check commands: checkfile, checkconstraint. It will be faster. They are prototyping a repair facility but dont know if it will be in the final release.
DBCC is using a patented single pass algorithm to scan the database.
Supports both TDS 4.2 (DBLIB/Legacy) and TDS 7.0 clients. Supports full index maintenance, constraints and triggers. The load/unload performance is reported to be twice as fast as 6.5. It does a parallel load into a table that has no indexes.
Many thanks to Sharon for providing these notes - drop her a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her thanks!