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First bits for SQL Server 2008 R2 are out

MSDN, TechNet subscribers get first look

In May, Bill Veghte, senior vice president for the Windows business, said a community technology preview of SQL Server 2008 R2, formerly code-named Kilimanjaro, would be available in the second half of 2009. Today, that day has arrived.

The SQL Server team has issued a CTP for MSDN and TechNet subscribers, with general availability for everyone else on Wednesday, Aug.12. The CTP is the first in a string that will come this month and add more and more features, according to the team. Back in May, the buzz on the CTP was that it would include enhancements in self-service business intelligence (BI), multi-server management, and Master Data Services. On its blog, the SQL Server team said pre-release features of the first CTP include application and multi-server management, SMP scale up with support for up to 256 logical processors, and Report Builder 3.0 with support for geospatial visualization. The server team said additional CTPs this month would include “low latency complex event processing now called StreamInsight, the first CTP for SQL Azure Database, a limited preview of Project “Gemini” Excel and SharePoint add-ins; and a private technology preview of Project Madison, Microsoft’s massively scalable data warehousing solution, with a select group of customers.” SQL Server trackers will remember that Microsoft is positioning R2 as an interim release, (the next major release will ship 10-16 months after R2) but the server still has huge ramifications in Microsoft’s BI plans. SQL Server 2008 R2 will be part of a BI platform integrated with end-user tools such as Office 2010 applications, including SharePoint Server, Excel desktop spreadsheets and Office Communications Server (OCS). The goal is to marry end-user tools with BI capabilities, which traditionally have been expensive in the industry and, therefore, available only to a small number of users. Office 2010 is due to ship in the second half of 2010. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/071309-microsoft-office-2010-a-simple.html and SQL Server 2008 R2 will likely not be far behind. - john fontana, sr. editor, network world Follow John on Twitter

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