One of the interesting things to come out this week is the SQL Server 2008 R2 CTP
One of the enhancements we are really looking forward to and interested in experimenting with is the Report Builder 3.0/Reporting Services support for Geospatial data. We hope to try out the SQL Server 2008 R2 CTP 1 in the next 2 or so weeks to test drive these features and maybe provide some reporting tutorials on BostonGIS.
One thing I am interested in seeing is whether the geospatial support can be leveraged for other spatial databases besides SQL Server. One thing I have to say is nice about the SQL Server add-ons like SSIS, Reporting Services etc. is that they can be used for other databases such as Oracle and PostgreSQL. Reporting Services has native drivers for Oracle and I believe Terradata and some others. It would be nice to implement similar drivers for PostgreSQL/MySQL and other open source databases. For most OS dbs, you usually have to use the ODBC driver,which is okay but not great. Its strange you can't use the ADO.NET driver, it seems you need a special Reporting Services provider driver, or at least we haven't been able to. It is possible to use the report builder in a stand alone mode (client mode -- no reporting services) and then I believe you can use ADO.NET drivers. We haven't played around with that but plan to.
To be honest we don't really use reporting services that much, but lately we have been forced into it since a lot of our bigger clients are married to it mostly because of the subscription support capabilities that allows you to mail reports on a scheduled basis to groups of users. The report builder isn't too bad either with some training. Its also tied in with other Microsoft stack things like Microsoft CRM/SharePoint etc. that many of our clients use so is a big part of their workflow.
We also want to check out how the spatial support has changed/improved since the SQL Server 2008 RTM.
More Database comparisons
We also just updated our basic comparison between SQL Server 2008, PostgreSQL 8.4, and MySQL 5.1 . This is not the spatial part, just general database features. It seems to be garnering a lot of traffic.
For our spatial compare that we did a while back. SQL Server 2008, PostGIS, MySQL, we'll probably repeat that exercise again when SQL Server 2008 R2 and PostGIS (1.5 or 2.0) come out. For our next iteration, we'll probably leave out MySQL since MySQL spatial support doesn't appear to have changed much. But instead we will replace with Oracle Spatial/Locator (and possibly Db II). Since more people seemed interested in how Oracle compares with the other two than how MySQL compares.