Sparse Columns of sql server 2008

Sparse Columns of sql server 2008. Explain with an example

A column with an optimized storage for null values is known as sparse column. Sparse columns reduce the storage space needs for null values. In a scenario of saving 20 percent to 40 percent of storage space, sparse columns can be considered. They are created using CREATE TABLE or ALTER TABLE statements.

Sparse columns can be used with
- Column sets: The statements INSERT, DELETE, UPDATE could be referred the sparse columns by name. The same an also be combined into a single XML Column. This is a column set.

- Filtered index: As there are several null value rows in sparse columns, they are appropriate for filtered indexes. The filtered index on a sparse column can accommodate only the rows / tuples which populate values. The index created with filtered index is small and more efficient index.

A large number of user defined properties can be accessed by using sparse columns and filtered indexes enabled applications such as Share Point Services of windows are efficiently store and access.
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