Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

In a few days Microsoft will be releasing the latest iteration of its data platform, SQL Server 2008 R2. R2 will provide customers with a trusted and scalable platform that can increase IT and developer efficiency and deliver expanded reporting and analytics through self-service business intelligence. SQL Server 2008 R2 also introduces two new premium editions; Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse (formerly codenamed “Madison”).

Some of the new features of R2 are:
· PowerPivot (formerly codenamed "Gemini")
    PowerPivot gives the users the power to create and manage self-service business intelligence solutions.
        - PowerPivot for SharePoint adds shared services and infrastructure for loading, querying, and managing PowerPivot workbooks that you publish to a SharePoint 2010 server or farm.
        - PowerPivot for Excel can be used to assemble and create relationships with data from various sources, and then use that data as the basis for PivotTables and other data visualization objects that           support data analysis in Excel.
· Data -Tier Applications
    A data-tier application (DAC) forms a single unit which contains the database schema and some server level objects required by the database in order to support an application. This simplifies the     development, deployment, and management of the data-tier objects that support a multi-tier or client-server application
· Application and Multi-Server Administration
    SQL Server 2008 R2 introduces the SQL Server Utility, which forms a central repository for centralized management and consolidation of data-tier applications and instances of SQL Server that have     been enrolled in the utility.
· StreamInsight
    This technology deals with complex high-scale event processing. It allows the monitoring and analyzing of data in motion that may be difficult to store for analysis due to its size and frequency.
· Master Data Services
    This allows organizations to securely manage master data and maintain an auditable record of the data as it changes over time thus ensuring the integrity of the data.

SQL Server 2008 R2 also has some Database Engine and Reporting Services enhancements that increase the power and productivity of architects, developers, and administrators. It is important to remember that R2 is a minor version upgrade of SQL Server 2008, so new and enhanced features in SQL Server 2008 will still be available in R2. Customers with Software Assurance (SA) for their SQL Server 2008 license can upgrade to SQL Server 2008 R2 for free. People without SA will have to decide if the features in R2 will be worth the cost of upgrading.

For more information on R2 see the following links:
MSDN: SQL Server 2008 R2
SQL Server 2008 R2

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