Microsoft SQL Server 2008 CTP, February 2008

The latest and greatest CTP of SQL Server 2008 (code-named Katmai) is now available for download and testing. This is commonly referred to as CTP6 and is the first update since CTP5 in November 2007. You can download the CTP6 bits over here.

To find out what is new and changed in SQL Server 2008 I suggest you take a look at the February 2008 version of Books Online (BOL). I’m really keen to try out the new DATETIME2, DATETIMEOFFSET, DATE, TIME, GEOGRAPHY, GEOMETRY and VARBINARY(MAX) FILESTREAM data types. Not to mention the ability to pass tables as parameters to stored procedures and the addition of Virtual Earth support directly in the database. This isn’t to be confused with the new spatial data types and spatial index support though.

Remember that CTPs should preferably be installed on test machines or virtual machines. If however you want to use it with Visual Studio there are updates necessary for both Visual Studio 2005 Support for SQL Server 2008 CTP and Visual Studio 2008 Support for SQL Server 2008 CTP.

[tags]SQL Server 2008,Katmai,CTP[/tags]

SQL Server 2008 November CTP

Its about time that the long awaited CTP5 of SQL Server 2008 (code-named Katmai) was released. I’ve been seeing blog posts about MVP only builds for the last couple of days and now finally I got an e-mail notification of the November CTP that is available to download from here.

I can’t wait for my download to complete so that I can try out the new GEOMETRY and GEOGRAPHIC data types.

[tags]Katmai,CTP,SQL Server[/tags]

Windows Live Tools CTP

Windows Live Tools logo Angus Logan, Senior Technical Product Manager for Windows Live, just announced on his blog the first CTP for a cool set of add-ins for Visual Studio 2008 (formerly code-named Orcas) for getting started with Windows Live in your own applications.
Windows Live™ Tools for Microsoft® Visual Studio® are a set of control add-ins to make incorporating Windows Live services into your Web application easier with Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Web Developer 2008.

Download the Community Technical Preview of  Windows Live Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio Now

The four controls included in this CTP release are:

  • Contacts Control
  • IDLogin Control
  • IDLoginView Control
  • SilverlightStreamingMedia Control

Update: Check this page out for more information.

[tags]Windows Live,Visual Studio 2008[/tags]

Expiring VS2008 beta 2 VPCs

Sometimes Microsoft knows how to screw things up. Not only were the Visual Studio 2008 (code-named Orcas) Beta 2 Virtual PC (VPC) images rather excessively large for the average South African developer to download and too big to fit onto a single DVD for community distribution, but now they are expiring on the 1st of November 2007 as well.

Now I was kind of expecting an new release candidate build to emerge for download sometime soon but it seems that the Visual Studio team has no such intention and has instead released updated beta 2 VPC images. Its not clear at this stage as to whether you need to just download the base image or whether you need to download the entire set of VPC images again. Either way the Visual Studio team lied to us when they said we just needed to get the base images once:

These downloads are differencing disks. To use them, you must also download Visual Studio Code Name Orcas Base Image contains the OS and is a one-time download for all the Virtual PC images that lay on top of it.

Why can’t Microsoft simply release a patch for the base image extending the lifetime of the Windows 2003 operating system? Why do they need to release complete new images? I don’t expect that many South Africa users will continue testing the beta 2 bit any longer if release to manufacturing (RTM) is so close. Sorry Microsoft, you’ve just totally screwed up in my humble opinion.

[tags]Visual Studio,South Africa,rant[/tags]

Tech-Ed 2007 day 2

Tech-Ed South Africa 2007Today the sessions started bright and early at 08h00 which is way too early if it was work but strangely enough I found myself downstairs devouring the buffet breakfast just after 07h00. I missed attending a few sessions that I would have liked to have attended purely due to logistical issues. I didn’t know where the bloody session rooms were and I left my map in the room and was too lazy to go back and fetch it.

Pieter Germishysen's XNA talk I would have to say that the best session I attended today must have been Pieter’s chalk ‘n talk session on XNA. He spent the morning in the Community Lounge writing a remake of the classic Space Invaders game. Willy-Peter and I however started making a few suggestions and before long the game became BokInvaders with the enemies appearing as English Roses and the ship becoming a Springbok. Oh and to top it all off, the South African national anthem became the theme music. The chalk ‘n talk room had seating for about 30 delegates and was overflowing with delegates sitting on the floor and standing at the back. I believe the talk went down extremely well and garnered a considerable amount of interest in hobbyist game development using XNA Framework targeting Windows PCs and Xbox 360 consoles.

For those that have been to Tech-Ed you will be familiar with the MultiNets. For those that haven’t they are essentially PCs distributed throughout the venue where delegates can logon for free and either plan their schedule, provide session feedback or browse the web. I have got to say that I am not impressed impressed with the Internet access that is provided. I managed to access my Gmail account once throughout the entire day as most of the time it was simply just timing out. I believe that Internet Solutions is providing the outside connectivity and I can only wonder what connection they are running. It feels worse than accessing over a shoddy dial-up. One good thing was that they provided free WiFi access as well, however my mobile phone can’t even connect to the access point as it doesn’t stay up for long enough. C’mon guys, get with it.

In general the day was awesome and I really enjoyed Louis de Klerk’s talk on the new features of SQL Server 2008, code-named Katmai. I have been playing around with CTP4 and I can’t wait to get hold of the new CTP5 that adds spatial support. Its rumoured that CTP5 might drop before the end of next week. I can’t wait.

[tags]Tech-Ed 2007,XNA,Katmai,SQL Server 2008,spatial,rant[/tags]