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SQL Server 2008 SP2 Previewed
Microsoft last week released a community technology preview (CTP) of the next service pack for SQL Server 2008.
SQL Server 2008 SP2 CTP can be downloaded here, and the Express Edition version is available here. Microsoft recommended deploying this test version only in non-production environments.
The CTP contains cumulative updates to SQL Server 2008 SP1, up to update package 8. Microsoft also fixed some issues reported by customers with this release. This service pack contains three new additions, according to Microsoft's announcement. First, the team tweaked the SQL Server 2008 R2 Utility, which provides an overall view of system resources by modeling entities. Microsoft described the SQL Server Utility in greater detail here.
Next, the service pack adds support in SQL Server Management Studio for data-tier application (DAC) operations. Users can create DAC package files that contain schema and server-level objects for use with host instances of the database. This Microsoft-produced video shows how to do that using SQL Server Management Studio. Microsoft provides a technical description of DACs here.
Finally, the service pack contains an add-in that integrates SQL Server 2008 R2 report servers with SharePoint 2007. Microsoft said that the add-in improves the management of "credentials and shared data sources." It includes Report Builder 3.0 and an ATOM feed renderer. The add-in "is not supported on SharePoint 2010 Products," according to Microsoft's announcement.
The new service pack runs on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows systems, including Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2003, as well as Windows 7 and Vista.