Saving Changes in Table Design in SQL Server 2008

One of the new things that happens in SQL Server 2008 is that it prevents saving table structure changes that require the table to be dropped and re-created. While this is a great feature to prevent accidents from occurring, on a developer machine it can be quite frustrating. This is the dialog you get when trying to make changes in a table design.

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Unfortunately, this dialog doesn’t tell you where to turn this feature off! Clicking on the small “?” on the title bar does get you to a help page that tells you how to do it.

Anyway, the place to do it is Tools > Options > Designers > Table and Database Designers > Prevent saving changes that require table re-creation. Turn this option off and you will be able to save the tables again.

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SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services - Big Changes

I'm right now at Redmond in the Microsoft HQ attending a SQL Server 2008 TPrep. There are a bunch of new things for developers, DBAs and Business Intelligence. One of the biggest changes in the BI space is in Reporting Services. There are a huge bunch of changes that allows you to create much more flexible & richer reports easier and faster. Here are some of them:

  • A new Report Designer tool that is aimed at end / office users with a new interface with the Office 2007 Ribbon and other UI changes. This allows non-technical users to quickly create reports without delving into the technical stuff.
  • A new data formatting control called the Tablix. This is something that designers the ability to use the best features of both the Table and Matrix controls.
  • Better rendering support for Excel and CSV export types
  • A new MS Word export rending option
  • LOTS of new charting options - including:
    • Stepped Line, Range Area, Range Bar/Column, Funnel, Pie Callout, Pyramid, Polar, Error and Radar
    • Secondary X- and Y- axes
    • WYSIWYG chart design control (think Excel charts)
    • Multi Charts
    • Scale Breaks
    • Great new Gauge controls
  • Dependency on IIS has been removed - the service uses HTTP.SYS directly

It's great to see the cool, new stuff in the Reporting Services. I'd have liked a couple of other stuff in it as well.

  • An auto-format option for the Tablix would have been nice. After all the ASP.NET GridView has them and so do Word and Excel tables.
  • An option to allow alternate row formatting for easier reading of reports
  • Ability to deploy/install the new Report Designer as a ClickOnce application from the Report manager site
  • The Web service endpoint for Reporting Services still remains as ReportServer2005! That's a little nutty I'd say. The name should have been ReportServer2008. Especially since there is a ReportServer2006 that is meant to connect to servers in SharePoint integrated mode. If backward compatibility was such a big deal it would have been trivial to create the ReportServer2008 endpoint and create a wrapper endpoint called ReportServer2005. Explaining this to clients is gonna feel a little stupid! :)

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Categories: SQL Server

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