Microsoft announced Jan. 19 that SQL Server 2008 Release 2 will be ready by May.
SQL Server 2008 R2 is currently in the community technology preview phase. The most recent CTP was released in November. Since the first CTP in August, there have been more than 150,000 downloads of the database, Microsoft said in the announcement on its SQL Server News blog.
Microsoft has stated that SQL Server 2008 R2 includes enhancements to help administrators centrally monitor and manage multiple database applications, servers and instances. In addition, Microsoft said, it has enabled high-scale, complex event-stream processing through SQL Server StreamInsight and expanded business intelligence capabilities with SQL Server PowerPivot for Excel.
Microsoft has two new premium versions of the database in store for users: the Datacenter Edition and the Parallel Data Warehouse (formerly known as "Project Madison"). The Parallel Data Warehouse edition will not be ready in May but is expected to be released in the first half of 2010, a Microsoft spokesperson told eWEEK.
"Customers with Software Assurance can upgrade to SQL Server 2008 R2 and take advantage of the new features without incurring additional licensing costs," the Microsoft statement said.