The next version of SQL Server (codenamed “Katmai” – which is a volcano in Alaska) has a website, and information is starting to leak out.
One of the features that has come out that I guess I can now talk about is around spatial awareness. I still can’t say much yet, but I’m sure we’ve all had times when we’ve wanted to store locations or geometric positions in our database effectively. Of course we can easily store them just by having x & y co-ordinates, or longitude and latitude, but in “Katmai” this will be handled natively. Why is this good? Well, it bring consistency to the way that we store this information, and it understands the fact that we’re on a spherical world. Functions will be provided to let the database hook into applications like Virtual Earth, and Indexing will be far richer than just sorting points east-west or north-south.
I think there will be a whole lot more information becoming available after TechEd US next month.