Is It Worth Upgrading to SQL Server 2008

  • Something worth thinking on with SQL 2008 is the Filestream functionality. I am told reliably (an MS source) that this was developed specifically with SharePoint in mind. The idea being quite lean databases with all the BLOB objects from the document libraries and other content being seperate to the database itself. SO all the Pro's of having a CMS and all the Pro's of having a Fileserver with none of the cons. Slightly off the DBA track I know but as it's a huge product at the moment its worth considering if you are spec'ing or designing backends for this kind of system.



  • I guess it depends if you are a SQL Admin or developer. The intellisense is indeed a huge step up for developers at any site. I also love the fact that SSRS, which we use heavily for web services based reporting, does not require IIS any longer. It was a pain to setup and use due to that fact. SSRS doesn't seem to make the author's radar, but it's a very powerful web services based reporting tool that blows away any 3rd party tool in it's cost range (free). It comes with the complete Visual Studio interface, if you don't already have Visual Studio, and adds a half dozen project types for reports, SSIS, SSAS and so on. You have the power of .NET behind SSRS which means your options and data delivery/manipulation with SQL Server/Anaysis services/Integration services is almost limitless.

  • robert.goudie-497430 (12/18/2009)

    BTW we still use DTS - despite having several books at work on SSIS that our key people have read at one point or another.

    Thus far we have found DTS easier and more intuitive: SSIS takes a heap longer to achieve what comes intuitively in DTS, and this despite having no DTS documentation at all.

    I use SSIS rather infrequently and when I come back to it I inevitably reinvent the whole Anglo-Saxon dictionary of biological insults and blasphemy. Once I get back into the swing of it I start to like it but should I have to get into the swing of it? Shouldn't it be more intuitive.

    The particular gripe is the bit about changing package properties requiring them to be entered into a list in one of the components. There is a scripting equivalent that is supposed to negate this need but I've never got it to work.

    I think SSIS will eventually evolve into something whose power is matched by an intuitive way of doing things but I personally I feel it has a way to go yet.

    SQL2008 has one or two features that are in the "close but no cigar" camp. CDC looks good, until you have to factor in agile development changing the schema every 5 minutes.

    Policy based management looks good but I want to audit naming conventions on fields.

    Switch partitioning really rocks though!

  • I'm not sure if this requires its own thread but--the only improvement I wanted to see is a simpler, more efficient Management Console which was foisted upon us in sql 2005.

    SMS is so go*$#amn ridiculously slow and tedious. I mean, I counted at least 12 clicks and an unacceptable latency after each click just to add table permissions for a user!! Come on. In the old EM, in *TWO* clicks you were looking at a list of users and checkboxes to set permissions! This goes for so many once-simple management tasks. I don't know why they did this or if I'll have much agreement on this--but the SMS is so painful to use it just defies logic.

    My two cents.


  • Jim,

    Are you sure your machine has the required specs for SQL Server 2005? I run the developer edition, which is obviously the Enterprise Edition w/ developer licensing, and I absolute love the new management studio. For starters, the new Visual Studio like design makes developing and performing Admin across all SQL modules obviously so much easier. I can have a connection open to the Database Engine, SSAS, SSRS and SSIS at the same time with no latency. My machine is an early 2008 HP laptop with a 2.5Ghz core 2 duo and 4 GB of 800Mhz RAM, so maybe I'm just more well equipped but even when running Vista I was zipping along at a more than fast enough clip. I am runing Windows 7 Professional and see some performance gain. It's really noticable at times, like when firing up often used apps.

    As for teh number of clicks, I'm not sure I follow? I fire up SSMS and click once to connect (as you have to with EM) to the Database Engine, one click to open security and another for logins? Really not a lot of difference. The databases are inside of "databases" folder but that just makes sense and keeps the console organized. The solution explorer, and all other explorer windows are a God send.

    I don't know anyone, besides you 😉 that doesn't think SQL 2005 management studio is light years ahead of the 2000 UI.

    Having query analyzer there, with tons of MDX and troubleshooting tools at your fingertips, as well as Admin tools is awesome. In the long run, the old EM required me anyway, many more clicks and really click count is not a good measure. When you click say 5 times, right in the same area of the screen w/o bringing up new windows and having to reoriant and now switch between windows (if you use SQL for more than one thing you end up with several windows on your task back and lot's for switching back and forth. I have said so long to that old school UI and love the console.

    with respect,


  • from planning our company migration from 2k5->2k8, it looks like it will at least be easier than our 2k->2k5 migration 🙂

  • SQLMadness (12/18/2009)

    We are currently upgrading from SQL Server 2005 to 2008. One major factor in our decision to upgrade was Filtered Indexes.

    Yup, this is the feature I earely want to use and will help a lot in typical applications.

  • Upgrade to 2008 because its code base may be different than 2005 and you will get efficient processing and support from Microsoft. Microsoft may have improved code otherwise they will not ask you to upgrade. Look the way we develope and maintain our applications.

    Also if you want to get Enterprise features of 2008 later then you will be ready and there will be no downtime and re-testing.

  • Thx for working thru features vs cost. My client's application has been SQLS/2k for 5 years; no upgrade in the original license AFAIK, so several thou $ to consider SQLS/05, so I had not even looked at it. Now, it seems that if it ain't broke w/SQLS/2k, then "fixing" it w/any subsequent version is not worth the $:cool: ... or any more time reading thru 9 pages of comments:hehe:.

  • SQL 2008 Compression and Table Partitioning are not to be underestimated. They have allowed us to easily justify going to Enterprise Edition instead of Standard Edition when we upgrade from SQL 2000.

    Our two largest databases BUDGET_HOURLY and BUDGET have been reduced in space used for the data files (mdf files) from 531 Meg to 106 Meg and 239 Meg to 44 Meg. In the BUDGET_HOURLY database all tables were compressed and in BUDGET database we compressed only tables with more than 10 million rows. The table partitioning greatly improved nightly index rebuild times on the largest tables, and the applications is running significantly faster.

    SQL Server 2008 is running as a virtual machine under Hiper-V, but on a faster box than the SQL 2000 so comparing run times gets complicated. Suffice to say, we are very happy with the results of moving to SQL 2008 Enterprise on a virtual machine. We really did not think we could justify Enterprise Edition until we did the testing, but we had the machine and we had the time, and the results far exceeded our expectations.

  • John S. meant GB (not meg).

  • There is an error in the database sizes from my previous post, should be Gig not Meg.

    (531 Meg to 106 Meg and 239 Meg to 44 Meg) should be (531 Gig to 106 Gig and 239 Gig to 44 Gig).

    It would be difficult to justify Enterprise Edition if the databases were that small.

  • I imagine most companies will move to SQL Server 2008 because of the off-box key management features the Enterprise version provides. Anyone that has to pass a PCI-DSS audit will definitely appreciate that feature, along with the other encryption artifacts.

  • Good article, and much interesting discussion.

    The outfit I ran until the middle of last year will be going to SQLS 2008, despite it not being much different from 2005 - but won't be going to 2005. Having not yet upgraded from SQLS 2000 Std edition, the upgrade is now going to be direct from SQLS 2000 to SQLS 2008, skipping 2005. Then the app environment will be upgraded to the latest .net version and use WPF and XAML.

    Being a small outfit with customers to whom IT is generally regarded as a cost to be minimised meant we didn't have the option of upgrading a customer's SQL servers during the contract or of using a more expensive MS licensing model that would allow the customer's systems to be upgraded for free.

    The one after SQLS 2008 will probably be skipped too, for the same reasons - unless there's a real zoom in the target market that allows a lot of growth.


  • Tom,

    I think a lot of companies are looking at things this way. Some may even skip SQL 2008 and R2 from 2005 to jump to 2011 or 2012 since it has not been that long since SS2K8 was released.

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