SQL Server 2008 SP2 Now Available
Released after thee months of testing
Microsoft today released Service Pack 2 for SQL Server 2008.
Previously, the service pack was available only at the community test preview level. This release arrived after nearly three months of testing. Like the CTP version, the final SP2 release includes a collection of SQL Server 2008 hotfixes, all of the way up to Cumulative Update 8. Microsoft also added some feature improvements and fixed bugs found in the CTP version.
The main improvements in SQL Server 2008 SP2 include integration of reporting services with SharePoint products, plus a couple of management improvements, according to Microsoft's announcement.
Report servers in SQL Server 2008 SP2 now integrate with SharePoint 2010 products. They also integrate with SharePoint 2007 products via an add-in, Microsoft's announcement explained. IT pros typically use reporting services tools in SQL Server to generate reports from "relational, multidimensional, or XML-based data sources," according to a Microsoft TechNet library description.
Microsoft also beefed up instance management with SP2 using the SQL Server Utility, which "models an organization's SQL Server-related entities in a unified view," according to an MSDN library description.
Microsoft's announcement describes the instance management improvement as follows: "With SP2 applied, an instance of the SQL Server 2008 Database Engine can be enrolled with a SQL Server 2008 R2 Utility Control Point as a managed instance of SQL Server."
Finally, SP2 improves the database engine in SQL Server 2008 to support all data-tier application (DAC) operations, including deploying, deleting, extracting, registering and upgrading. Microsoft defines a data-tier application as follows: "A DAC defines all of the database objects (such as tables and views) and instance objects associated with a database (such as logins) required to support the application."
SP2 is available now at the Microsoft Download Center in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. It runs on systems using Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2003, as well as Windows 7 or Windows Vista client operating systems.
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SP2 can be accessed here. The Express Edition is available here. A feature pack containing enhancements to SQL Server 2008 SP2 can be downloaded at this page.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.