I'm not focusing on the entire SQL server development process but rather give you some insight in to what we did in the manageability team. This is more philosophical for high-level process then meat and potatoes.
After we shipped SQL2K5 we sat down and brainstormed things we could do for the next release. As you can imagine the list was amazingly long. There was one major theme that we wanted to adhere to: make it easier to manage SQL Server. You can say this a number of different ways but they all mean the same thing. Honestly that was the easy part the hard part was deciding of all the things we could do what would have the biggest bang for the buck. We did some detailed customer analysis to come up with three big bets. Those turned out to be Policy-based Management, Data Collector, and Intellisense. There were also a number of smaller areas we knew we wanted to invest in. Finally, we knew there were several things with the tools that we wanted to fix.
Microsoft, SQL Server, SQL Server 2008, SQL2K8, Development