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Volume 5, Number 7 -- February 20, 2008

February SQL Server 2008 CTP Released by Microsoft

Published: February 20, 2008

by Alex Woodie

Testers are now able to get their hands on the February community technology preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2008, Microsoft announced yesterday. The release includes several new features, like enhanced data compression, better policy-based management, and integrated full-text search.

Microsoft has been struggling to complete the development of SQL Server 2008, the new version of the Microsoft database that's intended to replace SQL Server 2005, and which, along with Windows Server and Visual Studio, is the third critical leg in Microsoft's business application development and runtime environment.

Last month, Microsoft delayed the release of SQL Server 2008 from the second quarter of this year to the third quarter, citing "quality" issues with the new database. That put the actual availability of the database even further from the formal launch of SQL Server 2008 at the "Hero's Happen Here" triple-launch even in Los Angeles next week.

Despite the setback, Microsoft says it has delivered all of the capabilities in the February CTP that it set out to deliver. This includes a new data compression feature that Microsoft says will decrease the cost of data storage and improve performance, particularly with data warehouses.

Better policy-based management is also coming to the database. With this release, Microsoft is allowing administrators to import policies into the database and receive alerts when a policy is violated. It also is being delivered with the capability to run several different policies at the same time, and the capability to view and evaluate the policies in the analysis and reporting services components of the new database.

The February CTP also benefits from the integration of full-text search into the database. Microsoft says this new feature will make the transition between full-text search and relational data seamless, and also enable the use of full-text indexes to perform high-speed text searches on large text columns.

When it ships, SQL Server 2008 will be available in three versions. A license for the Enterprise Edition will cost $25,000 per processor, Standard Edition will cost $6,000 per processor, and the Workgroup Edition will cost $3,899.


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