Twenty months after SQL 2008 was released, Microsoft announced this morning SQL Server 2008 R2 has been released to manufacturing in a conference call with Sr. Vice President Ted Kummert. After several “Launch Goofs” and speculated dates, the definite dates are May 3rd, 2010 for MSDN and TechNet subscribers and the public will have the R2 available to them on May 13th, 2010. Although, a trial version and a light weight Free SQL Server 2008 R2 Express is already available for download.
Although I cursed Pivot tables at a previous job where we lived by them on a day to day basis, a highly talked about feature of R2 is PowerPivot. PowerPivot is a self serviced data tool for user access using Excel 2010 and SharePoint 2010. A feature I look forward to is the Report Builder 3.0. Coming from Crystal Reports development and just recently began using SSRS, the new release will provide enhanced wizards, visualizations and authoring.
Other features include a Master Data Services to centrally manage critical data assets companywide and across diverse systems. In addition, Master Data Services will enable more people to securely manage master data directly. Also featuring StreamInsight a latency complex event processing platform to help monitor, analyze and act on the data in motion to make more informed business decisions in near real-time.
And even though PBM was only slightly mentioned in the Q&A, R2 will be capable to manage applications and instanced by policy. To learn more about PBM, pick this book up, Pro SQL Server 2008 Policy-Based Management.
To conclude, the most important detail of conference call in Redmond was SQL Server 2008 R2 availability dates, May 3rd for MSDN and TechNet subscribers and May 13th available for public download. There’s no Launch party as of yet, however you can get more details on the R2 Digital Tour.