We have started to take a really hard look at what SQL Server 2008 offers. Aside from the usual stuff that makes a database lover's
heart go thumpety thump -
- More SQL constructs
- Enhancements to Reporting Services
- New expansion of SQL Server database storage to use filesystem for large document storage AKA (FILESTREAM storage)
- Powershell integration
- Introduction of sparse columns more suitable for datewarehouse type stuff
- And of course introduction of spatial which makes a spatial database analysts heart go thumpety thump thump.
and list goes on of course.
To commemorate our tour of the new SQL Server, we have started a new section in BostonGIS called SQL Server 2008 Tutorials
and have put in our very first article. Part 1: Getting Started with SQL Server 2008 Spatial: An almost Idiot's Guide.
We are still learning so feel free to let us know where we went wrong.
Those who have read our popular Part 1: Getting Started With PostGIS: An almost Idiot's Guide
will recognize some similarities and those are for the most part intentional. Does this mean we are abandoning PostGIS? No. We are technologists and implementors
and as such, it is always important to have at least 2 answers to every question. For example PostGIS has the advantage of running on more operating systems and a growing
and not too shabby ecosystem and a very nimble architecture, while
SQL Server 2008 although it runs only on Windows, it has a massive ecosystem behind it from third-party's and Microsoft itself (e.g. SharePoint, CRM, Virtual Earth), which for many of the clientele
we deal with are not too shabby things.
It is equally important to stick with standards and themes within reason because standards provide the glue that allows disparate systems to interoperate. Focusing on standards also means the less you need to learn to get stuff done.
The main thing we like about both of these platforms, is that they try to stick with ANSI database standards and OGC standards. This is very important
because it means there is synergy with learning both. Learning one helps reinforce learning the other - its sort of like analyzing a coin and flipping it on its side. Where the requirements of one project rules out one for one reason or another
, the other may still be a likely fit. In fact we might just have some chocolate and peanut butter examples in the wings.