Feeds

Programmability of SQL Server 2005

The programmibility of a database is often what matters most to developers

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

T-SQL is Microsoft’s own version of SQL. Like most database companies, Microsoft supports most of the standards and extends the standards where it feels there is a lack.

So, SQL Server 2005 supports almost all of the ANSI 99 and 2003 SQL standards. As Euan Garden, product unit manager for SQL Server Tools, said back in 2004: "We have implemented the pieces of the standards that we feel were most appropriate."

[Which, some of us might think, means that they haven't really implemented standards at all; but a sort of "standards... but" instead - Ed.]

Without doubt, the biggest programming news is that SQL Server 2005 supports the use of languages other than SQL for writing stored procedures and triggers. This is implemented via the Common Language Runtime (CLR) and .NET integration. So these components can be written in any CLR language such as C#, Visual C++ and Visual Basic .NET.

When this capability was announced it received a very mixed reception. SQL programmers were instantly up in arms saying that SQL was the one true language for set-based operations and it was heresy to replace it with a procedural language (of any flavour whatsoever). Microsoft has subsequently spent a great deal of time and effort trying to get over the message that there was never any intention to replace SQL. These languages are simply an alternative that can be used as and when the programmer deems fit.

I am a SQL programmer, I love the language. But I also know that there are certain operations that I need to perform which are inherently much easier to write in a procedural language; so I welcome the addition of the CLR capability here.

Will people misuse this new capability? Undoubtedly. But then humans also misuse virtually everything they are given, so this isn't a good reason to fear it.

SQL Server 2005 also boasts some new data types that include Varchar(max), nvarchar(max), and varbinary(max). These are alternatives to text, ntext, and image datatypes; and can store up to 2 GB of data. The new datatypes are likely to be used mainly in data warehouse applications to store extended metadata and other descriptive information. User-defined custom datatypes are also supported.

There is also a range of new analytic functions such as ROW_NUMBER, RANK, and DENSE_RANK, which are return values to do with row numbers. There is also NTILE, which can split an ordered set into a specific number of groups of approximately equal size.

And then, of course, there is XML. No self-respecting database engine can afford to ignore XML, so SQL Server 2005 doesn’t. It is supported as a native data type; indexing and full-text searching are supported and there is also XQuery for querying XML.

Return to Page 1 of main article here - otherwise use "back" button.

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.