I'm wondering how best to use ArcGIS Desktop and SQL Server 2008 together. At the moment we run manual imports and exports between sql 2008 and arcgis 10 shape files. With sql 2008 having a geography data type I was expecting it to be simple to replace to the map files with a relational database, but for some reason it doesn't seem as simple as I expected.
Has anyone got any ideas how I can use sql 2008 for data storage and do away with shape files? I've read about arcsde, but really don't understand the point of another layer. No idea what it's actually supposed to do.