Wednesday, 16 December 2015

SQL 2005 - As one door closes

I've seen lots of articles circulating about the end of life for SQL 2005 which is happening very soon, on the 12th of April next year.  At the same time we're all seriously anticipating the release of SQL Servers next version, 2016 which is claimed to be the biggest release of SQL Server ever.  

Talk about when one door closes...

When I first started using SQL I used SQL 2000. I don't recall too much about the product itself in any detail but being a developer as I was back then I do remember tools like DTS, Enterprise Manager and of course, good old Query Analyser. But oddly enough what I remember most about SQL 2000 was upgrading to 2005.

You see 2005 brought with it a bundle of new goodies. Database Mirroring and Snapshots, the Service Broker, enhancements to T-SQL like TRY...CATCH, CLR integration, a whole bunch of DMV and DMF's and plenty more enhancements and features than what I can list here but make no mistake, game changer was an understatement!

So when I say I remember upgrading to SQL 2005 I don't just mean the product. I changed with it too. Not least in that I started to move from development into database administration and I started a career that I am still doing and throughly enjoying now.

And why was SQL 2005 responsible? It wasn't that it was just around at the time. For me that version helped lift the lid on what was going on inside SQL, to me everything became more accessible. For example, the dynamic management objects provided me with new information and with that came the necessity to gain a new understanding of how it all worked. It was amazing.

Of course there have been releases since and bit by bit our 2005 estates began to disappear. 2008 and 2008R2 were fine, yeah they were good. 2012 and 2014 brought some more exciting new functionality to the table (pun intended) and started to create the way forward but nothing had that same impact as what 2005 did. That is until now.

SQL2016 CTP 3.1 has arrived. I've listened to all of the talk. I've read an awful lot about it for months now; release notes, blog posts and training material. I then jumped in. In-Memory OLTP has been enhanced from the rather disappointing SQL2014 introduction. We now have PolyBase, Stretch Database, GZip Compression, JSON support and the Query Store - among other things! 

This now feels very familiar. New and exciting functionality, new ways to explore what our instances are doing. New skills and new discovries. This is once again rather amazing and for anyone considering a career as a SQL DBA, there really is no better time - believe me!

So to SQL2005, "so long old friend".

Hello to my new friend!

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