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Microsoft talks Sync and BI for SQL Server 2008

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TechEd, Barcelona Microsoft used its TechEd Developer Conference in Barcelona Monday to announce details of new features in SQL Server 2008, due next February.

Among the changes is Sync Framework, which will lets users work on their documents without being connected with the ability for updated information to be incorporated back into the system upon reconnection.

This will allow users to be productive in occasionally connected scenarios while retaining organizations’ ability to implement their IT security policies.

The planned Visual Studio 2008 development environment will allow Sync support to be added to applications, services and devices, with the ability to extend the architecture using metadata to support custom data types.

SQL Server 2008 will see a continued emphasis on business intelligence (BI), following Microsoft's acquisition of visualization controls with Dundas Data Visualization in June.

These controls will help an application transform business data to the domain of the user using "immersive visualizations", so the information becomes more effectively communicated.

Microsoft sees BI as a key market, as organizations try to more efficiently leverage business data such as information about customers.

One of the challenges in BI is how to leverage the data stored in non-relational formats such as images, movies and Office documents. Support for unstructured data could see this information tapped to finally help organization achieve their goals in knowing more about the customer. Full text search capabilities integrated to the database engine will also help data-driven applications leverage this previously difficult-to-reach information.®

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