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SQL Server 2008 R2 To Ship in May

Microsoft on Tuesday said SQL Server 2008 R2, the next version of its database, will be generally available in May.

SQL Server 2008 R2 is the first major upgrade to Microsoft's flagship database since late 2007. Microsoft released a "feature-complete" community technology preview (CTP) in late November and had indicated it would ship in the first half of this year. Microsoft reported on its Data Platform Insider blog that there have been 150,000 downloads of the CTP.

With SQL Server 2008 R2, Microsoft is introducing new self-service business intelligence (BI) capabilities and master data services, which allows DBAs to manage and audit data records as data is altered.

The self-service BI will be offered by a new technology called PowerPivot (formerly code-named "Project Gemini"), which will allow users in Excel to load data sets of any size from any source, according to Microsoft. Users can then create their own OLAP cubes. A version of PowerPivot will also be offered for SharePoint Server 2010.

SQL Server 2008 R2 includes a new feature called StreamInsight, which allows high-end complex event processing and support for enterprise-grade systems with up to 256 logical processors.

Microsoft is also adding two new SKUs, one edition called Datacenter and one named Parallel Data Warehouse (formerly code-named "Project Madison"). The two represent the most scalable database servers offered by Microsoft to date, though it remains to be seen whether the company can capture high-end business from the likes of Oracle, IBM and Teradata.

Based on the technology Microsoft acquired from DATAllegro, Parallel Data Warehouse will be offered as appliances by partners IBM, HP, Bull and Dell, among others. Datacenter Edition and Parallel Data Warehouse will cost $57,500 per processor. Those two SKUs will not be offered with a server and CAL combo.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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