SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Brings Easier Schema Upgrades, Improved Query Performance
SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 brings several features such as DAC Framework for easier schema upgrades, new DMVs and XEvents for better supportability, Improved Query Performance with ForceSeek and ForceScan and Disk space control for PowerPivot.
A brief explanation of the new features introduced -
Data-tier Application Component Framework (DAC Fx) DAC allows the database schema of an application to be packaged as a Data-tier Application; now using an upgrade wizard enables an in-place upgrade service, making it much easier to deploy schema changes.
sys.dm_query_stats Dynamic Management View is extended with additional columns to improve supportabilities over troubleshooting long-running queries. There are also some new DMVs for monitoring OS configurations and resource conditions
FORCESEEK now takes optional parameters to give greater flexibility. FORCESCAN hint has been added, which combines with FORCSEEK to force and index ‘scan’.
Disk space control in PowerPivot for SharePoint - two new configuration settings that let you determine how long cached data stays in the system. You can now specify how long an inactive database remains in memory before it is unloaded and limit how long a cached file is kept on disk before it is deleted.
SQL Server 2008 R2 Feature pack, which was also previewed alongside the SP1 in April, was also released recently, and is available for download. The Release announcement coincided with the CTP3 release of SQL Server 'Denali'.