While Microsoft will roll out its SQL Server 2008 at a long planned launch event this month, the actual shipment of the database software has been delayed until the third quarter of this year.
Microsoft will officially introduce the updated database server Feb. 27 along with new versions of Visual Studio and Windows Server at the event in Los Angeles.
In the meantime, Microsoft has released another Community Technology Preview for SQL Server 2008, this time with all the database's bells and whistles.
Microsoft officials have not offered a specific reason behind the postponement, stating only that the process of releasing a CTP, addressing the feedback and then delivering another update to the market takes time and the company would not compromise the quality of the product.
According to a company spokesman, the latest CTP (Community Technology Preview) delivers all the key functionality planned for the product release. Among the new features highlighted in the latest CTP are new data compression technology, enhancements to policy-based management and an integrated full-text search.
According to Microsoft officials, SQL Server 2008 includes both ROW and PAGE compression. The row compression enables storing fixed length types in variable length storage format. The PAGE compression is built on top of ROW compression, and minimizes storage of redundant data on the page by storing commonly occurring byte patterns on the page once and then referencing these values for respective columns. The byte pattern recognition is type-independent.
The policy-based management enhancements include policy violation alerts, policy import, the ability to run and evaluate multiple simultaneous policies and evaluate policies when Object Explorer is connected to Analysis Services and Reporting Services. The integrated full-text search enables the use of full-text indexes to perform high-speed text searches on large text columns.