New Datatypes in SQL Server 2008

While the native datatypes like varchar, int, float, and datetime are at the foundation of almost all solutions, some issues arise when working with these types. The issues mainly involve the limitations of these datatypes when trying to manipulate them to fit a particular common situation. For example, if you were designing a table schema that included a list of employees and wanted to use this table to query a list of managers and their direct reports, you could write a query that used a self join. The solution could also involve using common table expressions or other approaches, all of which are composed of the native datatypes within SQL Server. SQL Server 2008 has a hierarchyid datatype that knows about hierarchical data like employee/manager relationships. The new datatypes in SQL Server 2008 are designed to address these kinds of key user scenarios.

• Spatial datatype support, which includes GEOMETRY and GEOGRAPHY datatypes, as well as spatial indexing support

• New date and time support, which includes very flexible date and time types (we are no longer restricted to a lower bound of year 1753 or to 3.33 milliseconds of precision, for example)

• The hierarchyid datatype, which is great for applications that deal with a lot of hierarchical data

• The new filestream attribute to varbinary(max), which allows you to store large objects in the file system and have these files integrated within the database


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