This afternoon Microsoft announced SQL Server 2008 R2 has gone RTM and will be available through its various channels (MSDN, Volume Licensing Site, Retailers, etc.) over the next few weeks.
Although this is great news for those of us waiting for the release of R2, even better news is that Microsoft has made available for download SQL Server 2008 R2 Express edition immediately! Not only that but they also released the SQL Server 2008 R2 Management tools as well as a TON of documentation and other guides this afternoon which you can download now.
Without further ado, here are the various download links:
“What’s New/Changed in SQL Server 2008”
For those of you who have not been keeping up on the blogs for R2, here’s the what’s new for R2:
- PowerPivot for SharePoint
- PowerPivot for SharePoint adds shared services and infrastructure for loading, querying, and managing PowerPivot workbooks that you publish to a SharePoint 2010 server or farm. To create PowerPivot workbooks, you use PowerPivot for Excel.
- PowerPivot for Excel
- PowerPivot for Excel is an add-in to Excel 2010 that can be downloaded from the web and installed on client workstations. You use PowerPivot for Excel to assemble and create relationships in large amounts of data from different sources, and then use that data as the basis for PivotTables and other data visualization objects that support data analysis in Excel.
- Multi-Server Administration and Data-Tier Application
- The SQL Server Utility forms a central repository for performance data and management policies that tailor the operation of instances of the Database Engine that have been enrolled in the utility. It also includes a Utility Explorer for centralized management, and dashboards that report the state of the managed instances. A data-tier application (DAC) forms a single unit for developing, deploying, and managing the database objects used by an application.
- Master Data Services
- Master Data Services is comprised of a database, configuration tool, Web application, and Web service that you use to manage your organization’s master data and maintain an auditable record of that data as it changes over time. You use models and hierarchies to group and organize data to prepare it for further use in business intelligence and reporting tools, data warehouses, and other operational systems. Master Data Services integrates with source systems and incorporates business rules to become the single source of master data across your organization.
- Features Supported by the Editions of SQL Server 2008 R2
- The largest database supported by SQL Server Express has been increased from 4 GB to 10 GB.
- Connecting to the Database Engine Using Extended Protection
- SQL Server now supports Extended Protection, using service binding and channel binding to help prevent an authentication relay attack. Also, see Extended Protection for Authentication with Reporting Services.
Enhanced in this Release
- What’s New in SQL Server Installation
- What’s New (Database Engine)
- What’s New (Reporting Services)
Reports can now include maps, sparklines, data bars, and indicators to depict data. Report parts enable collaboration through shared datasets, report items, and data regions that are centrally stored and managed. Dataset query results can be cached on first use or by schedule. SharePoint integration supports multiple SharePoint Zones, SharePoint Universal Logging, and local mode report viewing with Access Services and SharePoint lists. SharePoint lists, SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse, and SQL Azure Database can be used as data sources for reports.
Unchanged in this Release
Have fun! I know I’m going to have a busy night!