HOSTING THE RUNTIME: SQL SERVER AS A RUNTIME

HOSTING THE RUNTIME: SQL SERVER AS A RUNTIME HOST Some portions of the base class libraries may have no usefulness in a SQL Server environment (for example, System.Windows.Forms); some may be dangerous to the health of the service process when used incorrectly (System.Threading) or may be a security risk (portions of System.Security). The architects of SQL Server 2005 have reviewed the class libraries that make up the .NET Framework, and only those deemed relevant will be enabled for loading. This is accomplished by providing the CLR with a list of libraries that are OK to load. SQL Server will take the responsibility for validating all user libraries, to determine that they don t contain non-read-only static variables, for example. SQL Server does not allow sharing state between user libraries and registers through the new CLR hosting APIs for notification of all interassembly calls. In addition, user libraries are divided into three categories by degree of danger; assemblies can be assigned to a category and use only the appropriate libraries for that category. We ll discuss this further after we ve looked at the syntax involved in assembly definition. Because code in SQL Server must be reliable, SQL Server will only load the exact version of the Framework class libraries it supports. This is analogous to shipping a particular tested version of ADO with SQL Server. Multiple versions of your code will be able to run side by side (though this was not enabled in beta 1), but the assemblies must be defined with different SQL Server object names. Security You may have noticed that we started this chapter by asserting that security was the most important consideration in an enterprise application but, in this discussion, we have saved it for last. This is because there is an entire chapter devoted to the subject of .NET code access security (CAS), assembly security, user security, and other security enhancements in SQL Server 2005 (see Chapter 6). We ll talk about XML namespace security in Chapter 8, which discusses the XMLdata type. At this point, suffice it to say that there are three categories of access security for managed code. These are SAFE, EXTERNAL_ACCESS, and UNSAFE, which we mentioned previously with respect to class loading. This allows the DBA to determine if an assembly should be permitted certain privileges while knowing the risks. These categories equate to SQL Server specific permission sets using code access security concepts. Having stated this, there is no specific enhancement to the CLR past the normal stack walk that intercepts all privileged operations as defined by the CLR permissions

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