I’ve spent a chunk of the weekend playing with the latest Community Technology Preview (CTP) edition of the forthcoming Microsoft SQL Server 2005, and I am more than impressed. And I am not even talking about features, functionality, or the installation and configuration experience (which was, by the way, superb). What I am most enjoying is the new SQL Server Management Studio (it replaces the old Enterprise Manager, Query Tool, and more), and is clean, intuitive, and astoundingly powerful. From the uncluttered interface to the logical groupings of features and functions (columns, keys, constraints, triggers, indexes, etc.) to the choices in how to present data to the automatic relationship diagram generation to the various wizards (database engine tuning, for example) to the instant access to execution plans and activity statistics to the automatic generation of stored procedure and trigger shells to … you get the idea. Everything I have tried to do thus far has simply required a button or right click just where you’d expect it to be. If you use SQL Server now (6.x, or 7 or 2000), I’d strongly suggest that you download the CTP so as to try it out yourself.
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