In conjunction with the official release of SQL Server 2012 today, Microsoft has announced a surprise feature that was kept under wraps for three years. Casper Marley, Senior Program Manager for Microsoft’s newly announced Whimsical Products division put it this way, “It’s like Siri…for SQL Server.” “Siri,” Apple’s intelligent assistant that ships with the IPhone 4S, responds audibly not only to voice commands, but questions as well. He then quickly put his IPhone back in his pocket as several members of the Windows Phone team strolled by the well-windowed conference room in which this interview took place.
“Here is one example which integrates with the Query Optimizer,” he said, excitedly sitting up straighter in his chair. He then went on to explain that this new feature, when detecting your tuning has resulted in a plan that is ten or more times more performant than the previous plan for that query, will play a .wav file that sounds like the sizzling of bacon on a griddle. “It’s our way of providing the immediate feedback that you’re really cookin’ now.”
“Another example,” explained Marley, “has been plugged into Resource Governor. When a user is affected by RG, they will now get an audible “No resources for you!” He sat back and chuckled at the brilliance of intertwining comedy and databases.
One feature of this new tool is somewhat controversial. “We all know what happens when you shrink a database, right?” Marley then sipped his coffee for several seconds, clearly building suspense. “Well, when you actually execute a SHRINK on a database, your screen will go dark for a moment. During that time, you will hear high pitched meows and some thumps. Then a well-known, bearded SQL Server expert will appear on the screen, a single tear on his cheek.” He then explained that this expert will then hold up a small furry object and say, “YOU SEE!? See what you did!?” How that made it passed QA, I will never know.
There are some Easter Eggs in there as well. Marley turned to his laptop and said, “Watch this one.” He opened a query window and executed a differential backup of a database. The screen got fuzzy for a moment and then an alien humanoid appeared. Below this alien were the words, “All your differential base are belong to us.”
“I’ll show you one last feature, “ Marley said, turning back to his laptop. He opened a new query editor window and wrote a query against a table that gets a lot of writes. Then, to my astonishment, he put a NO LOCK hint on that table. As soon as he executed his query, there was a loudly audibly “YOU FOOL!” as shouted by Gilbert Gottfried on a famous episode of Hollywood Squares.
Marley, clearly delighted with himself, closed the lid of his laptop and stood to shake my hand, signaling the end of the interview. “We’ll let the users find the rest.”
Well, there you have it. It only remains to see what the SQL community will make of these changes.