How vulnerable has SQL Server been, and how do you rate Microsoft's responsiveness to security concerns?
I don't think SQL Server has been that vulnerable. The big vulnerabilities happened against totally unarmed databases. Microsoft can't make you put in a system administrator password. As for the buffer overruns, yes, that's Microsoft's fault. They're having a lot of buffer overruns because they reuse their code and there are programming errors in some of it. I don't think they have been unresponsive. Sometimes they have been a little bit slow, but no more than any other database platform. How stable has the beta version been?
There is a table-partitioning feature, which has been prompting a lot of discussion. It allows you to break partitioning tables up with a virtual partition. With multi-terabyte databases, when you partition a table on SQL Server 2000, you can slash the table up and make five or six tables out of it and tie them together -- so that the application sees one table. Now they've made it more functional, with a virtual table that ties everything back together automatically. According to people who have very large databases, it's super cool. What challenges will DBAs face with Yukon?
I think that if you summarize the challenges for DBAs with Yukon in the near future, it will be that application developers will have more control inside the database than in the past, because they are now able to store procedures. Companies may question the need for a DBA developer in the future, and that's going to hurt them in the long run. The DBA developer will still be needed to optimize the stored procedures and standards once you get them built. The non-development DBAs will have to get to know the development languages. What are the top features that you feel will make Yukon a compelling database release, from a development standpoint?
Security has become more of a focus with this version. They have given the DBA the ability to tie in the SQL Server password with the Windows password policies. It gives the DBA a little more control in creating passwords in the database. I also like that they have separated the database schema from database users. In the past, a database table or stored procedure was owned by a database user. The best practices today say we should have the database owner on everything. In the future, we can create a schema and place all the objects in there. I don't have to know who they are, but I can control all the objects. This is important because it allows me to contain my objects a little better according to my applications. What are likely to be the top Yukon features from a user standpoint?
From a user standpoint, there's going to be a big learning curve, because this is a giant release. The old GUI tools are now gone because now users work from the workbench, which is a much different format. It's a lot more intuitive, and it works like a flow chart, which is appealing, because it's more straightforward.