Developers will be able to use the CLR language they are familiar withsuch as Visual Basic or C#to create SQL Server 2005 applications. Developers also will be able to easily create their own user-defined functions and types, Flessner said. "The embedding that we did with the CLR is unlike what IBM or Oracle did with their Java or with .Net," he said. "We really wired it in process to SQL so that we wrote a hosting layer that allows good thread management [and good memory management]."The integration of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 means shared concurrency primitives, memory management and other resources across both platforms, according to Microsoft developers. In addition, the databases integration services interface is built on the Visual Studio shell, providing the same source code management, debugging and visualization. "As your data flows through, you can visualize in a chart or grid," Rizzo said. The databases management tool is built on the Visual Studio shell and introduces the color coding of Visual Studio programming in the T-SQL environment, Rizzo added. "We felt at the beginning of this journey [we should] try to bring the two worlds together," said S. "Soma" Somasegar, vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division. "SQL Server is a big product, and the product is much more valuable when you have an application that you write on top of SQL that leverages the data in the database." "Being able to take the CLR and wire it into SQL Server gives the benefits of the modern programming world to the database developers," said Somasegar. "Theyre no longer constrained by just one language, be it T-SQL or whatever. You can have developers program to the data tier based on the language that they are most familiar with." Click here to read about how the unification of the SQL Server database engine with the CLR environment could evolve to offer developers a powerful model for data manipulation. Despite all the advancements and benefits in the newly integrated products, Microsoft is late to market with both, having set early goals of delivering Yukon in 2003 and Whidbey in 2004. Rizzo calls it Microsofts big bet. "We embedded the CLR in the SQL Server," he said. "It runs in process. Thats not easy work. We manage the memory of the CLR and the SQL Server together from the SQL Server standpoint. That level of integration between the .Net technology and SQL Server takes time." Next page: Security issues slow delivery schedules.
But while Microsoft is supporting its SQL CLR, the company also will continue to support and innovate around the T-SQL language developers use today to build applications for SQL Server, Flessner said. Yet, for many operations, using SQL CLR will be faster and require less code than T-SQL, he said.