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What’s Next for SQL Server?

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As we reported last year, SQL Server 2008 R2 will support 256 logical processors. Other features include better multi-server management tools and geospatial visualization in Reporting Services 3. A preview of the new version is available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers. The general public will have access later this month.

R2 offers several features targeted specifically at independent system vendors (ISVs):

ISVs will be able to pre-define templates for project Gemini. Gemini, which is being offered as part of Office 2010, appears to be an analytics engine for Excel. Microsoft claims that it can be used for “manipulating millions of rows of data into a single Excel workbook”.

They will also be able to pre-define SQL Server Reporting Services components. Details are currently light in both these areas; there are not any explanations as to how this differs from simply shipping these components separately.

Microsoft is also touting support for ATOM-based feeds. Given their repeated attempts to turn SQL Server into a web server, and the number of times they abandoned said features, developers should be leery of this offering.

On the consumer side, the feature list is far more promising. SQL Server will be able to use 256 logical processors, a big win for companies looking to scale up instead of out. For those who are scaling out, R2 promises to offer better management tools for working with multiple-servers.

For reporting, Report Builder 3.0 will come with support for geospatial visualization. Geospatial visualization allows map-based charts to be created from data. You can see a sample of geospatial visualization on SQL Server new blog.

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