SQL 7 Preview from TechEd '98

July 1, 1998

This session focused on the 'ease of use' release theme. The presenter stated that people are buying 2 to 300 copies of SQL Server at a time. Microsoft's goal is to move out of the workgroup niche and have SQL Server on the desktop and in large organizations.

For the desktop, they want to have SQL Server self-configuring, with no DBA requirement. For workgroups, they want it to be self-managing. For large organizations, they want the lowest total cost of ownership, to support multi-server operations and to provide interoperability. There will be 20 Wizards in Beta3, 5-10 more by ship date.

For the DBA, they are providing a data base designer This is basically the Visual Database Tools diagrammer. It is not a full-blown data modeling tool like ERWin or System Architect. There was a demo of the database diagrammer. It will be possible to print the database diagrams by release; right now it isn't. SQL Trace has been renamed SQL Profiler and is much enhanced. The Index Tuning Wizard is almost frightening, but since it doesn't handle concurrency issues I don't think I'll be out of work yet! A functioning (unlike previous efforts) graphical showplan is available and it is really good. Shows the costing info and decision process clause by clause.

For data warehousing, they are providing the Data Transformation Services, the Microsoft Repository, which will be part of SQL Server, and Microsoft English Query. (More on both of these later.)

Distributed Management Framework and DMO

For ISV's and MIS Applications, they are going to make it easy to embed and deploy SQL Server. SQL-DMO provides a COM administrative interface. There is something called the SQL-namespace which I don't completely understand. It is composed of administration objects and the administration UI. You are supposed to be able to put specific dialogues or wizards into any tool that supports SQL Server. I don't know how to do his yet, but it would clearly solve some of the problems of presenting some but not all functions to a power user who isn't a full-fledged administrator.

The new Distributed Management Framework looks like this:

You will be able to use VB to launch a wizard, as well. The events layer is used by the SQL Profiler, which allows it to see "inside", stored procedures (the current SQL Trace only shows you the exec statement for the procedure). Things like table scans and locks will also be events. I assume this means we might be able to set up alerts for a table scan of a big table but I don't know for sure.