Microsoft releases SQL Server 2008 R2

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Microsoft releases SQL Server 2008 R2

Enables managed self-service for business intelligence.

Microsoft has announced the release to manufacturing of SQL Server 2008 R2, the latest version of its relational database system.

SQL Server 2008 R2 will be available to download for TechNet and MSDN subscribers from 3 May, Microsoft said, with worldwide availability coming on 13 May.

Key features in the new release include PowerPivot for Excel and SharePoint, which provides greater access to BI information through these familiar Office tools, and greater scalability through SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter edition, which now enables databases on servers with up to 256 logical processors.

The PowerPivot feature provides what Microsoft refers to as managed self-service for BI, enabling IT professionals to make data available while still being able to monitor and manage user-generated BI solutions.

Other developments focus on making IT professionals more productive, according to Casey, including support for Master Data Management solutions.

"With the introduction of application and multi-server management, our customers can now centrally manage all instances and applications running on any number of servers, in a very consistent manner," said Tom Casey, general manager for BI at Microsoft.

SQL Server 2008 R2 provides live migration support and scaling under Hyper-V, and can take advantage of up to 256 processors in a single system.

Microsoft also said that customers will be able to extend capabilities to the cloud through SQL Azure, which provides a consistent programming model, common capabilities and tools to SQL Server.

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