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Latest SQL Server 2008 service pack beefs up R2 support

In addition to the usual updates and hotfixes, SQL Server 2008 SP2 will take better advantage of R2’s multi-server management and DAC capabilities.

The next service pack for SQL Server 2008 will feature all the usual updates, as well as improved compatibility with SQL Server 2008 R2 features.

The community technical preview (CTP) for SQL Server 2008 SP2 was released last week for Enterprise, Standard, Evaluation, Developer and Workgroup editions. The service pack includes cumulative updates from SQL Server 2008 SP1, as well as a rollup of new bug fixes and tweaks.

In addition, Microsoft has added support for SQL Server 2008 instances with R2’s new data-tier application (DAC) and utility control point (UCP) features. The DAC feature creates a single place for managing an application’s data-tier objects when using SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010. The SP2 extends DAC support to SQL Server 2008 instances. The UCP is a multi-server management feature that allows DBAs to monitor multiple instances from a single dashboard in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). In the UCP, R2 users will be able to view instances of SQL Server 2008 with the latest service pack installed.

The SP2 also includes a SharePoint 2007 add-on for connecting to SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services. The add-on has several new features such as shared data source management improvements and Report Builder 3.0. Users should note that the add-on is SharePoint 2007-only, and is not compatible with SharePoint 2010, released earlier this year.

The CTP for SQL Server 2008 SP2 is currently available for download at the Microsoft website.

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