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SQL Server 2008 SP1 and Feature Pack CTP Bring New Features and Tools

by Abel Avram on Apr 28, 2011 |

Microsoft has announced the availability for download of SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 CTP, including all cumulative updates, and SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Feature Pack CTP1, containing a number of stand alone tools adding more value to SQL Server 2008.

Beside a large number of bugs fixed, SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 CTP comes with the following notable new features:

  • Dynamic Management Views for increased supportability. sys.dm_query_stats DMV has additional columns for troubleshooting long-running queries. OS configurations and resource conditions related to an SQL Server instance are monitored with new DMVs and XEvents on performance counters.
  • ForceSeek for improved querying performance. The FORCESEEK index hint syntax now allows optional parameters for better control of the access method on the index. FORCESCAN – a new query hint – has been added allowing ‘scan’ as the access method of the index.
  • Data-tier Application Component Framework (DAC Fx) for improved database upgrades. The new DAC enables the upgrade of the database schema to SQL Azure.
  • Disk space control in PowerPivot for SharePoint. This feature allows to control the amount of time cached data is kept and how long an unused database is kept in memory before is unloaded.

The SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Feature Pack CTP1 comes with 15 individual packages separately compiled for x86, AMD64 or IA64:

SQL Server Report Builder 3.0 for SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 CTP – an improved version of the Report Builder.

SQL Server PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel – a data analysis tool for Excel.

SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services Add-in for SharePoint Technologies 2010 – provides reporting environment integration with SharePoint 2010.

SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Add-in for SharePoint Technologies 2007 – provides reporting environment integration with SharePoint 2007.

Microsoft Connector 1.1 for SAP BW for SQL Server 2008 R2 – provides interconnection with SAP NetWeaver BW version 7.0.

Microsoft® System CLR Types for SQL Server 2008 R2 – contains the “components implementing the geometry, geography, and hierarchy id types in SQL Server 2008 R2”.

SQL Server 2008 R2 Remote Blob Store – useful to store blobs of unstructured data in external data stores.

SQL Server 2008 R2 Native Client – provides run-time support for using native code APIs to connect to SQL server 2000, 2005, or 2008.

SQL Server 2008 R2 Command Line Utilities – this utility enables users to “connect to, send Transact-SQL batches from, and output rowset information from SQL Server 7.0, SQL Server 2000, SQL Server 2005, and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 instances.”

Windows PowerShell Extensions for SQL Server 2008 R2 – useful to create PowerShell scripts to manage SQL Server instances.

SQL Server 2008 R2 Shared Management Objects – enables users to create client-side applications to manage SQL Server objects and services.

SQL Server 2008 R2 ADOMD.NET – enables users to create client-side applications to browse metadata and query data generated by Analysis Services.

Analysis Services OLE DB Provider for SQL Server 2008 R2 – a COM component enabling users to create client-side applications to browse metadata and query data generated by Analysis Services.

SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Management Objects – enables users to manage Analysis Services objects though client-side applications.

Datamining Viewer Controls For SQL Server 2008 – a library of Windows Forms controls useful to display data mining models created with Analysis Services.

The SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 CTP – Express Edition can be used to upgrade the free version of SQL 2008, while the Release Notes contain more information on this release.

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