SQL Server 2008 R2 August CTP

The wait is over – the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 August Community Technology Preview (CTP) is available for public download and testing today.

Building on the momentum of SQL Server 2008, “R2” improves IT efficiency by reducing the time and cost of developing and managing applications; empowers end users to make better decisions through Self-Service Business Intelligence and enables organizations to scale with confidence by providing high levels of reliability, security and scalability for business critical applications.

We are offering two options to access the trial:

First, you can download the CTP for SQL Server 2008 R2 at the Microsoft TechNet Evaluation Center. If you are participating in the Office 2010 Technical Preview, you can also download a CTP of the Project “Gemini” Excel add-in from the Microsoft Connect site for “Gemini”. The “Gemini” add-in to Excel will empower users to create their own BI solutions using data from both IT-managed and external sources, carry out rich ad-hoc analysis and modeling, extract value from data more easily, and publish and share reports for others to view.

The second option is through the Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS) organization, offering a quick and easy preview of the Application and Multi-server Management capabilities in a virtual environment – a great way to explore the new features before downloading the full trial. Application and Multi-Server Management helps DBAs proactively manage database environments at scale and accelerates consolidations and upgrades across the application lifecycle. With thanks to MaximumASP and Dell, access to the hosted trial will be available on Friday, August 14th at http://betaforsqlserver.com.

PASS Summit

PASS Summit2009 We are looking forward to the PASS Summit, November 2-5, 2009 in Seattle. Registration is now open and for those planning to attend and there is an early bird discount on the registration fee. Bob Muglia, President, Server and Tools Business for Microsoft will be delivering the opening keynote with Ted Kummert, Senior Vice President for the Business Platform Division. Tom Casey and David DeWitt will be delivering keynotes on the next generation of BI[and the latest innovations from the Jim Gray Systems Lab.

Remember to download SQL Server 2008 R2 August CTP and tell us what you think. .