Under Appreciated Features

, 2010-12-17

If you look back at the evolution of SQL Server for the last 10 years, there has been a lot of interesting growth in features and capabilities. DTS lead to SSIS, OLAP lead to Analysis Services, Reporting Services was added, and those are some of the big ones. But there have been a lot of smaller things changed and added during the journey; varchar(max), separate date and time types, Management Studio, blocking detection, and more.

Thinking about those smaller changes got me thinking – what is the most underappreciated feature of SQL Server? What’s the feature that doesn’t get used nearly as much as it should? Maybe because it doesn’t have a great UI, or it seems intimidating, or just doesn’t get talked about, some features just never seem to take off.

I’ve got a couple in mind already that I’ll post as a comment, but I’d like to hear what you think first.  What feature would you tell your fellow DBA’s to spend some time learning?

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