SQLUG – Michael Rys

Posted by Chris on October 04, 2006

So I was at the “Swedish SQL Server User Group”:http://www.sqlug.se/ meeting in Stockholm yesterday. It’s sad that there is never anyone but me from Skåne (the part of Sweden where I live) that come there, but of course it is an hour’s flight and the meeting ends at like 21.30 so it does get pretty late. It was great to chat with “Tobias Thernström”:http://www.rbam.se/?page=pages/tobias.htm and “Tibor Karaszi”:http://www.solidqualitylearning.com/blogs/Tibor/ (the founders of SQLUG) as well as “André Henriksson”:http://blogs.msdn.com/ahenrik/ and Maria Johansson from Microsoft Sweden.

As I mentioned in the “preview post”:http://www.hedgate.net/blog/2005/12/06/coming-user-group-meetings/ both presentations at the meeting was given by Dr. Michael Rys from Microsft and member of the ISO SQL committee and W3C XQuery committee. Michael knows a lot about XML and his presentation on XQuery was very interesting. Personally I do not see me storing XML in SQL Server even with the new support in SQL Server 2005. Michael mentioned scenarios where you want to store “semi-structured data” as one example where it would be a good idea to store it in an XML datatype column. But to me the word “semi-structured data” has as little meaning as “denormalization”. It does not have a specific meaning, and the general explanation “data that is not relational” is no good since all data is best managed in a relational management system in my view. Using XML and XQuery in stored procedures is a different case, where I have many thoughts with lots of further sidetracks, but that part of my brain is to incoherent right now to write anything about it. Look for more on this in the future.

The other presentation Michael gave was a general overview of SQL Server 2005, actually the same presentation that he gave on the SQL/VS2005 launch events lately. So there was not a lot of interesting news to me there, but again it was interesting to listen to Michael since he gave his personal view on different items. I asked him about the possibility of row-value constructors finally appearing in the next version of SQL Server. He agreed that it was definitely one of the important parts from the SQL standard missing in SQL Server and a top candidate for being implemented, but also recommended letting them know about it by sending an email to “sqlwish@microsoft.com”:mailto:sqlwish@microsoft.com. I guess another request for row-value constructors won’t hurt.. :)

And one last thing, regarding the next version of SQL Server. Although Bill Gates has already mentioned it in an interview and I have seen it in a couple of blogs (Microsoft and non-Microsoft), this was the first time I heard a Microsoft-employee use the codename “Katmai” for the next version of SQL Server in speech. I wonder if all of the attendees understood what he meant when he said “will be fixed in Katmai”. :)

All in all it was a great meeting and as always well worth the time and effort to go there. Now I am looking forward to the local SNUG-meeting this monday.

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