This past week we released SQL Server 2008 R2 to manufacturing. This is a huge accomplishment for the team and our customers are anxious to get their hands on it. I came across one blog post that expressed disappointment that the only thing they could download was the evaluation edition – they couldn’t wait to get their hands on a fully licensed edition, which will be available shortly.
Rather than go into a laundry list of what’s in the release here are links to a few of the RTM stories:
- Mary-Jo Foley: Microsoft: SQL Server 2008 R2 crosses the finish line
- PC Mag: Microsoft’s SQL Server 2008 R2 To Hit RTM in May
- SQL Server Magazine: Microsoft Releases SQL Server 2008 R2 to Manufacturing
Even though I’m a Manageability Guy and there are some terrific manageability features in R2 the most important feature, in my opinion, is PowerPivot. PowerPivot is going to change everything about business intelligence for IT and information workers. Early in my career as an IT Pro I designed a system that used Excel Pivot Tables that were loaded with massive volumes of sales data. Unfortunately I had to have tens of Pivot Tables spread out across an almost equal number of Excel Workbooks. Since there were so many files and tables I had to build a monthly process for refreshing the data. Plus if one of the users wanted a new view of the data I had to craft it by hand for them. It’s an understatement to say this was a pain. If I had PowerPivot back then it would have greatly simplified my life and better supported the needs of my users. As you read up on PowerPivot you’re going to think it’s too good to be true, take it for a test drive to convince yourself how truly remarkable this technology is and how it’ll transform the way you think about BI.