Here are the highlights..
- Policy-based Management
A framework that enables policies to be defined for explicit and automated administration of server entities across one or multiple servers.
- New Language Integrated Query (LINQ) extensions
This enables developers to be more productive by working with logical data entities that align with business requirements instead of programming directly with tables and columns.
- Beyond relational data
New data types such as a geospatial type, filestream type, 4 new data & time types and a Hierarchy ID type have been added.
Another really cool feature that will help in the swelling of database sizes is the addition of Sparse columns. Its a highly efficient way of managing empty data in a database by enabling NULL data to consume no physical space.
I'm sure all the GIS nerds out there are chopping at the bit to get there hands on the new geospatial functionality. Well its here and it looks very promising.
Check out some of the features below...
Comprehensive Spatial Support
- Work with geodetic and planar data types
Implement Round Earth solutions with the geography data type; using latitude
and longitude coordinates to define areas on the Earth’s surface. Implement
Flat Earth solutions with the geometry data type; storing polygons, points,
and lines that are associated with projected planar surfaces and naturally
planar data, such as interior spaces.
- Build on industry standards
Import and export spatial data in industry-standard formats, such as Well
Known Text, Well Known Binary, and Geographic Markup Language (GML).
- Perform spatial operations
Use the methods provided by SQL Server 2008 spatial data types to write
Transact-SQL code that performs operations on spatial data, such as finding
intersections between geospatial objects and distances between locations.
High Performance Spatial Data Capabilities
- Store large and complex spatial objects
Use the spatial types in SQL Server 2008 to accommodate spatial objects,
regardless of whether the objects are simple or very complex.
- Build high-performance solutions with spatial data indexing
Enhance query performance by using indexes for spatial data that are
integrated into the SQL Server database engine. Take advantage of accurate
query optimizer cost assessment for spatial queries that can determine the
optimal query plan and identify appropriate index selection.
- Consolidate relational and spatial data in business applications
Use the native support for spatial data types in SQL Server 2008 to
seamlessly incorporate spatial data into line-of-business applications.
Geospatial Application Extensibility
- Build spatial solutions of any scale
Take advantage of spatial support in multiple editions of SQL Server 2008,
from SQL Server Express to SQL Server Enterprise Edition.
- Use spatial standards support to integrate applications
Leverage a .NET-based geometry library that supports OGC standards. Build
applications that consume and manipulate spatial data. Integrate with
geospatial services, such as Microsoft Virtual Earth™, to build
comprehensive location-enabled solutions that render your spatial data for
- Benefit from spatial community support
Take advantage of spatial products and services offered by Microsoft
partners that integrate with SQL Server 2008.
These are just the highlights. There is a ton of additional enhancements and features they've added that's really worth looking at.
Get more info here...SQL Server 2008