Take advantage of existing Transact-SQL skills, and incorporate technologies, including the Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework and LINQ. Develop applications faster through deep integration with Visual Studio 2008, Visual Web Developer 2008, and SQL Server Management Studio.
Model data by using the ADO.NET Entity Framework to hide database schema details and access data by using entities that closely resemble business logic. Take advantage of support for LINQ, including LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Entities, which allows data to be retrieved from entities natively from any Microsoft .NET language.
Improved developer productivity
Increase developer productivity and simplify deployment through integration with Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Web Developer. Take advantage of advanced capabilities, including rich table and query designers, full integration with Server Explorer, and drag-and-drop IDE support, for rapidly building data-bound applications. Access data with PHP by using the SQL Server driver for PHP.
Easy design process
Manage SQL Server 2008 R2 Express databases with SQL Server Management Studio Express. Connect to local SQL Server 2008 R2 Express databases and manage objects with full Object Explorer integration. Write, execute, and test queries by using visual query plans that provide hints to tune queries and access management and maintenance options.
Create applications by using advanced features while centralizing business logic and increasing application performance with stored procedures, CLR integration, triggers, and views. Dynamically respond to data changes by using query notification, and extend data to remote locations with Service Broker and Replication.
Management of any data type
Take advantage of data, including support for structured and unstructured data while storing business data with native support for relational data, XML, and spatial data. Store and validate XML data and use XQuery to retrieve data. Increase granularity of temporal data with data types such as date and time.
Add geographical information to business applications and build location-aware applications.
Relevant information delivery
Visualize data by using Reporting Services and create readable reports that answer complex user questions. Enable users to share reports by using Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.
Anywhere data access
Create occasionally connected applications that function even when disconnected from the network. Develop desktop applications that automatically synchronize with central databases.
Simple remote management
Manage data infrastructures with policy-based management and apply policies to all instances. Reduce maintenance time by defining common policies for operations, such as query optimizations, naming conventions, backup, restore, and index management. Apply policies to multiple servers for consistent management across the enterprise.
Corporate data synchronization
Keep data synchronized with subscriber support for SQL Server transactional and merge replication. Take advantage of advanced conflict resolution capabilities to build robust business solutions, and synchronize data automatically with support for change tracking and the Microsoft Sync Framework.
Now in CTP3: SQL Server Express LocalDB
LocalDB is a new lightweight deployment option for SQL Server Express Edition with fewer prerequisites that installs very quickly. This makes it ideal for developers who need an embedded SQL Server database for desktop applications or tools. LocalDB has all of the same programmability features as SQL Express, but runs in-process with applications and not as a service. It is available as part of the SQL Server Code Name “Denali” CTP3 download.
LocalDB is designed to be bundled with and function as an integrated part of tools or desktop applications that need a lightweight local database runtime. This includes tools like SSDT, or custom developed desktop applications, or tools that need a lightweight single-user database runtime that supports full Transact-SQL functionality.
Apps that use LocalDB simply open a file. Once a file is opened, you get SQL Server functionality when working with that file, including things like ACID transaction support. The app that opens the file has exclusive use. It’s not intended for multi-user scenarios or to be used as a server. (If you need that, you should install SQL Server Express.)
LocalDB is easy to download, install, and manage. It installs as a small shared component instead of a service. To try, simply check the box during the installation process of any version SQL Server Code Name “Denali” Express CTP3.