Most folks that know me also know that I tend to work rather late. Well past midnight most nights. It's not that I am a workaholic but there is that 11pm to 2am sweet spot when the kids are asleep and you can focus on whatever it is you need to do. Last night, while going through my email I got a new message indicator in Outlook 2007 that immediately caught my eye. It was from the folks at http://connect.microsoft.com/ and it said that the July CTP (Community Technology Preview) of SQL Server 2008 was now available. Woo hoo!!
I logged on to http://connect.microsoft.com/sqlserver and logged in with my Windows Live ID and started the download process right away. There were bits for x86 (32-bit), x64 (64-bit) and IA64 (Itanium) but I just got the x86 and x64 ones. I also got the release notes and install guide and found out that there was this really cool graphic showing what is new in the July CTP and what was there in the June CTP. There is also a lot of resources, solution-based info, and technical resources at the SQL Server 2008 landing page on the Microsoft web site.
To download the July CTP and check out all the cool features go to http://connect.microsoft.com/sqlserver and download the bits. It promises to be hours of fun and enjoyment if you are a data-oriented individual like me. Let me know what you think of it and what your favourite new or improved feature is by leaving a comment.