On the last day of July, Microsoft made available to testers a new Community Technology Preview (CTP) build of its SQL Server 2008 database, code-named "Katmai."
The July CTP build comes one month after the June CTP. Microsoft is expected to test SQL Server 2008 primarily, if not exclusively, via CTPs, which are not full-fledged beta builds, but more like interim updates.
Microsoft has been talking about SQL Server 2008 features by categorizing them in a handful of buckets: "Pervasive insight," "dynamic development," "enterprise data platform" and "beyond relational." On the Microsoft Connect site, there's a great slide listing specific SQL Server 2008 features that Microsoft introduced in the June CTP and what it added into the July CTP. What's new in the July CTP build?
- Enterprise reporting engine
- Analysis service time series
- T-SQL improvements
- Performance Data Collection
- Extended Events
- Database mirroring enhancements
- ORDPATH hierarchical labeling scheme
- Large user-defined types
- DATE/TIME data type
- Improved XML support
Microsoft is aiming to release to manufacturing the final SQL Server 2008 code in the second quarter of 2008. The company is going to launch officially the product before it RTMs -- on February 27, 2008 -- as part of the Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008 mega-launch.
(Thanks to WinBeta.org for the heads up on the new CTP.)