Chapter 21 — Methods of tracking deprecated features

In most versions of SQL Server there are any number of routines, un-documented functionality or elements in the engine that Microsoft needs to migrate away from.  Often times this is for the benefit of the product, readability, to better adhere to the ANSI standards etc…  The point is that functionality has been deprecated in the past and it will continue to be deprecated in the future.  In Chapter 21, Christian Lefter (Blog | Twitter) takes on deprecated functionality and provides examples of how to monitor your environment for deprecated features.

With SQL Server 2008 the database engine makes it incredibly easy to identify the items that are going to be deprecated.  In the past, I can recall pouring over lines of code, writing wildcard searches through the syscomments table and otherwise spending more time than needed to ensure that the DDL or incoming t-sql statements to an upgraded server would be successful.  More often than not, this involved modifying a few different classes of items.  Other times, it involved touching hundreds of stored procedures, modifying dynamic sql (in the front end application) and generally a great deal of turmoil.

This is a great chapter and a subject that falls under the category of “REQUIRED” if you are at all interested in taking your database career seriously.  Understanding what’s deprecated and being able to measure and ensure that it’s not going to be deprecated is, in my opinion one of the fundamental checks that DBA’s, DB Developers, .NET developers and BI Developers should take very seriously.  It will increase the longevity of your application and might make you aware of some of the NEW features of t-sql and the database engine that you wouldn’t have bothered to look into previously.


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