Galin Iliev's blog

Software Architecture & Development

Visual Studio 2008 SP1 is here

Well. The wait is over. Visual Studio 2008 SP1 is here.

Visual Studio 2008 SP1 delivers:

  • Improved WPF designers
  • SQL Server 2008 support
  • ADO.NET Entity Designer
  • Visual Basic and Visual C++ components and tools (including an MFC-based Office 2007 style ‘Ribbon’)
  • Visual Studio Team System Team Foundation Server (TFS) addresses customer feedback on version control usability and performance, email integration with work item tracking and full support for hosting on SQL Server 2008
  • Richer JavaScript support, enhanced AJAX and data tools, and Web site deployment improvements

The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 delivers:

  • Performance increases between 20-45% for WPF-based applications – without having to change any code
  • WCF improvements that give developers more control over the way they access data and services
  • Streamlined installation experience for client applications
  • Improvements in the area of data platform, such as the ADO.NET Entity Framework, ADO.NET Data Services and support for SQL Server 2008’s new features

and more... Read more on what's included in VS 2008 SP1.

Download install .exe.
Download .iso version.

Rule "Previous releases of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008" failed

I downloaded MS SQL Server 2008 Dev Edition this morning and was eager to install new SQL Server Management Studio with IntelliSense support. Unfortunately I hit a showstopper:


The message says: "Rule "Previous releases of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008" failed", "A previous release of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 is installed on this computer. Upgrade Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 to the SP1 before installing SQL Server 2008". (for search engines:) )

I noted that prior starting I was asked to install following:

  • .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (does this mean it has been released?!)
  • Windows Installer 4.5 - wow! That's new too. I missed that one...

As VS 2008 SP1 is still on beta I don't want to install it on my primary dev box. I am looking for alternative solution... I hope I will find one :)


After some research I found that:

  1. There is no workaround for this yet!
  2. The only good workaround would be to wait for VS 2008 SP1 :). I really don't want to dig into MSI database with Orca.
  3. And of course there are other guys with same issue:
    1. SQL Server 2008 RTM Requires/Installs ...
    2. Visual Studio 2008 SP1 may be required for SQL Server 2008 installations
    3. SQL Server 2008 On The Horizon

MSDN Subscrpition says it cleary :(

SQL Server 2008 RTM Available for Download

English downloads are available now and additional languages will be added on a daily basis. Visual Studio 2008 users will need to download and install Service Pack 1 which will be available here after August 11, 2008.

So we wait...

Update 2: If you ran out of patience you can try one trick:

rename the following registry key:

This was found on Guy Barrette blog. More especially on comment by Daniel. As Daniel says:

No guarantees, but SQL 2008 will install and run.


Maybe it is better to wait :)

Update 3: The wait is over :). VS 2008 SP1 is here!

SQL Server 2008 (aka Katmai) is Released

The newest version of popular database server from Microsoft is released. The list with new features and improvements is very impresive:

     - Transparent Data Encryption (encryption while data is 'still' on disk, transparent to applications)
     - External Key Management (Consolidation of key management, integration with external products)
     - Data Auditing (1st-class 'AUDIT' objects; DDL support; audit objects, principals, data, etc.; support for multiple logging targets)
     - Pluggable CPU support
     - Enhanced Database Mirroring (compression of mirror streams, enhanced performance, automatic page-level repair for principal/mirror)
     - Data compression (easy to enable/disable online, more efficient data storage (this is NOT traditional data compression))
     - Backup stream compression (server level control or backup statement control, all backup types)
     - Performance data collection (single, common framework for data collection, reporting, and storage/warehousing)
     - Improved Plan Guide support (plan freezing, pull plans directly from plan cache, SSMS integration, etc.)
     - Resource Governor (create pools and groups to govern, define classifications based on built-in functions, segment resource utilization amoung groups)
     - Policy-based management framework (manage via policies vs. scripts, enterprise-wide support, automated monitoring/enforcement, etc.)
     - Integrate with Microsoft System Center
     - Extended Events (high perf lightweight tracing infrastructure, NOT sql trace, integrated with ETW, unprecidented insight into goings-on)
Development Enhancements
     - Improved datetime datatypes (100th nanosecond precision (7 digits past second), time-zone datetime offset, date only, time only)
     - HierarchyID datatype (hierarchical-aware data type, ORDPath values, built-in functions, methods, etc.)
     - Entity Data Model support (develop 'business entities' vs. tables, model complex relationships, retrieve entities vs. rows/columns)
     - LINQ
     - Sql Server Change Tracking (Change Data Capture, get 'diff' data changes WITHOUT a comparible value (i.e. datetime, timestamp, etc.))
     - Table Valued Parameters
     - MERGE statement ('upsert' data, also includes deletion functionality)
     - Large UDT's (no more 8000 byte limit on CLR-based UDTs, no more 8000 byte limit for UDA's)
     - Spatial data (GEOMETRY and GEOGRAPHY data types, built-in spatial function support, spatial indexes)
     - XML enhancements (support for lax validation, office 12 support, xs:dateTime support, lists/union types, LET FLOWR support, etc.)
     - Inline initialization and compound assignment
Service Broker
     - New UI and Tools for working with (add/drop/edit functionality within SSMS, Diag tools, )
     - Conversation Priority (set message ordering, send/receive impact, 1-10 levels)
Data Storage
     - Data compression (see above)
     - FILESTREAM attribute (get the 'best of both' functionality from BLOBs in the DB vs. BLOBs on filesystem, no more "to blob or not to blob")
     - Integrated Full Text Search (FTS fully integrated into DB engine, no external storage, no external service, more efficient and reliable costing)
     - Sparse columns (more efficient storage for 'wide' tables with many columns that repeat and don't contain data)
     - New index types (spatial indexes, hierarchical indexes, FILTERED indexes (indexes on filtered values within columns), etc.)
Data Warehousing/ETL
     - Partitioned Table Parallelism (no more thread limit per partition)
     - Star Join support (no special syntax, optimizer based, full backward syntax support)
     - Data compression (see above)
     - Resource Governor (see above)
     - Persistent Lookups in SSIS (no more re-querying for lookup operators, cache lookups in multiple ways, persist lookups to disk)
     - Improved thread scheduling in SSIS (shared thread pool, pipeline parallelism)
     - Change Data Capture (see above)
     - MERGE statement (see above, great uses with slowly changing dimensions)
     - Scale-out analysis services (read-only storage supports multiple AS servers)
     - Subspace computations
     - New Tools for Cube design
     - Best Practice Design Alerting
     - Backup cubes with better scalability
     - Data-mining add-ins for Excel
     - IIS Agnostic Reporting Services Deployment (no IIS required to run RS any longer)
     - Rich-text support
     - Enhanced visualization (graphing)
     - New Word rendering (render reports to Microsoft Word)
     - Many 'old' features ARE REMOVED/GONE (those that have been deprecated for some time - 60/65/70 compat modes, nolog / truncateonly syntax, etc.)

(source SqlStuff blog on MSDN)


See full list by editions at MSDN: Features Supported by the Editions of SQL Server 2008.


Training Materials

Microsoft is put a lot effort to create supporting documentation and training materials that would facilitate adoption of new things. The training materials and blogs. As a trainer I've used some of them I find them very useful:

and of course some videos:

Download locations:

"Software is Hard"

" main conclusion after spending ten years of my life on the TeX project is that software is hard. It's harder than anything else I've ever had to do."
Donald Knuth (read more)

It is not big, hot news right?! :)  I knew it is not just me:)

But here is one: If you think that software is very different than other engineering areas you're wrong! You think that software is very different because it is hard to estimate?! well... keep reading.

The most massive cost overrun in history: Boston Big Dig highway was initially estimated at $5.8 billion.

"Eventual cost overruns were so high that the chairman of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, James Kerasiotes, was fired in 2000. His replacement had to commit to an $8.55 billion cap on federal contributions. Total expenses eventually passed $15 billion. Interest brought this cost to $21.93 billion."
Source: Wikipedia