A collection of 26 free stand-alone tools, components and frameworks has been released. This collection is designed to enhance using and developing for SQL Server 2008 as well as other versions of SQL Server.

The Feature Pack consists of the following:

Microsoft ADOMD.NET

ADOMD.NET is a Microsoft .NET Framework object model that enables software developers to create client-side applications that browse metadata and query data stored in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services. ADOMD.NET is a Microsoft ADO.NET provider with enhancements for online analytical processing (OLAP) and data mining.

Microsoft Analysis Management Objects

Analysis Management Objects (AMO) is a .NET Framework object model that enables software developers to create client-side applications to manage and administer Analysis Services objects.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services 10.0 OLE DB Provider

COM component that software developers can use to create client-side applications that browse metadata and query data stored in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services. This provider implements both the OLE DB specification and the specification’s extensions for online analytical processing (OLAP) and data mining.

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Backward Compatibility Components

Latest versions of the Data Transformation Services 2000 runtime (DTS), SQL Distributed Management Objects (SQL-DMO), Decision Support Objects (DSO), and SQL Virtual Device Interface (SQLVDI). These versions have been updated for compatibility with both SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 and include all fixes shipped through SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 4 (SP4) and SQL Server 2005 SP2.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Command Line Utilities

Allows users to connect to, send Transact-SQL batches from, and output rowset information from SQL Server 7.0, SQL Server 2000, SQL Server 2005, and SQL Server 2008 instances. The bcp utility bulk copies data between an instance of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and a data file in a user-specified format. The bcp utility can be used to import large numbers of new rows into SQL Server tables or to export data out of tables into data files.

SQL Server Compact 3.5 SP1

Free, small footprint and easy-to-use embedded database engine that lets developers build robust Microsoft Windows desktop and mobile applications that run on all Windows operating systems including Windows XP, Vista, Pocket PC, and Smartphone.

Microsoft Connector 1.0 for SAP BI

Set of managed components for transferring data to or from an SAP NetWeaver BI version 7.0 system. The component is designed to be used with the Enterprise and Developer editions of SQL Server 2008 Integration Services. To install the component, run the platform-specific installer for x86, x64, or Itanium computers respectively. For more information see the Readme and the installation topic in the Help file.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Data Mining Add-ins for Microsoft Office 2007

Enables users to take advantage of SQL Server 2008 predictive analytics in Office Excel 2007 and Office Visio 2007. The download includes the following components:

- Table Analysis Tools for Excel: Provides easy-to-use tools that leverage SQL Server 2008 data mining features to perform powerful analytics on spreadsheet data. Two new tools have been added for this release: Prediction Calculator and Shopping Basket Analysis.

- Data Mining Client for Excel: This add-in enables you to go through the full data mining model development lifecycle within Excel 2007 using your spreadsheet data or external data accessible through your SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services instance. This release adds support for new SQL Server 2008 data mining features including holdout and cross-validation, a new Document Model wizard, and improvements to existing wizards.

- Data Mining Templates for Visio: This add-in enables you to render and share your mining models as annotatable Visio 2007 drawings.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Data Mining Viewer Controls

Set of Microsoft Windows Forms controls that enable software developers to display data mining models created using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services in their client-side applications. The controls in this library display the patterns that are contained in Analysis Services mining models.

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Driver for PHP

PHP 5 extension allows accessing data in all editions of SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2005 (including Express editions) from within PHP scripts. The driver provides a procedural interface for accessing data and makes use of PHP features, including PHP streams to read and write large objects. Source code for the driver is available.

Microsoft Core XML Services (MSXML) 6.0

Provides standards-conformant implementations of XML 1.0, XML Schema (XSD) 1.0, XPath 1.0, and XSLT 1.0. In addition, it offers 64-bit support, increased security for working with untrusted XML data, and improved reliability over previous versions of MSXML.

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 JDBC Driver 1.2

Supports accessing SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2005, and SQL Server 2000 from any Java application, application server, or Java-enabled applet. This is a Type 4 JDBC driver that provides database connectivity through the standard JDBC application program interfaces (APIs) available in J2EE (Java2 Enterprise Edition).

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Management Objects

.NET Framework object model that enables software developers to create client-side applications to manage and administer SQL Server objects and services. This object model will work with SQL Server 2000, SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008.

Microsoft OLEDB Provider for DB2

COM component for integrating vital data stored in IBM DB2 databases with new solutions based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition and Developer Edition. SQL Server developers and administrators can use the provider with Integration Services, Analysis Services, Replication, Reporting Services, and Distributed Query Processor. Run the self-extracting download package to create an installation folder. The single setup program will install the version 2.0 provider and tools on x86, x64, and IA64 computers. Read the installation guide and Readme for more information.

SQL Server Remote Blob Store

Component for storing blobs of unstructured data in an external Content Addressable data store. The component consists of a client-side DLL that is linked into a user application, as well as a set of stored procedures to be installed on SQL Server. Run the self-extracting download package to create an installation folder. The setup program contained there will install RBS on X86, X64, and Itanium-based computers.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Native Client
(SQL Server Native Client)

Single dynamic-link library (DLL) containing both the SQL OLE DB provider and SQL ODBC driver. It contains run-time support for applications using native-code APIs (ODBC, OLE DB and ADO) to connect to Microsoft SQL Server 2000, 2005, or 2008. SQL Server Native Client should be used to create new applications or enhance existing applications that need to take advantage of new SQL Server 2008 features. This redistributable installer for SQL Server Native Client installs the client components needed during run time to take advantage of new SQL Server 2008 features, and optionally installs the header files needed to develop an application that uses the SQL Server Native Client API.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Policies

Example policies demonstrating how to take advantage of Policy Based Management. These policies will help you follow some of the SQL Server best practices and avoid common pitfalls.

Microsoft Windows PowerShell Extensions for SQL Server

Includes a provider and a set of cmdlets that enable administrators and developers to build PowerShell scripts for managing instances of SQL Server. The SQL Server PowerShell Provider delivers a simple mechanism for navigating SQL Server instances that is similar to file system paths. PowerShell scripts can then use the SQL Server Management Objects to administer the instances. The SQL Server cmdlets support operations such as executing Transact-SQL scripts or evaluating SQL Server policies.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Replication Management Objects

Includes API for managing SQL Server 2008 replication objects programmatically. The Replication Management Objects package requires Windows Installer 4.5, Microsoft SQL Server Native Client 10.0, and the SQL Server 2008 Management Objects (SMO) Collection package.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Report Builder 2.0

Provides an intuitive report authoring environment for business and power users with a Microsoft Office look and feel. Report Builder 2.0 supports the full capabilities of Report Definition Language (RDL) including flexible data layout, data visualizations, and richly formatted text features of SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services. The download provides a stand-alone installer for Report Builder 2.0.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Technologies

sql_report_builder_sm

Allows you to take advantage of SQL Server 2008 report processing and management capabilities in SharePoint integrated mode. This version also includes data-driven subscriptions. The download provides a Report Viewer Web part, Web application pages, and support for using standard Windows SharePoint Services or Microsoft Office SharePoint Services.

Report Builder 2.0 supports the full capabilities of SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services including flexible data layout, data visualizations, and richly formatted text features.   It also delivers an even more intuitive report authoring environment for business and power users with a Microsoft Office look and feel, plus:

· Easy to use wizards for creating table, matrix and chart data regions

· Support for directly opening and editing reports stored on the report server

· Support for using server resources such as shared data sources

· Query designer for Microsoft SQL Server data sources

· Ability to read from all SQL Server Reporting Services data sources

Microsoft SQL Service Broker External Activator

Extension of the Internal Activation feature in SQL Server 2008 and lets you move the logic for receiving and processing Service Broker messages from the Database Engine service to an application executable that runs outside the Database Engine service. This can provide a higher level of scale-out performance by moving processing loads from the database server to another computer. The activation application process can also run under a different Windows account from the Database Engine process. This gives administrators additional control over the resources that the activation application can access. Run the self-extracting download package to create an installation folder. The single setup program will install the service on x86, x64, and IA64 computers. Read the documentation for more information.

Microsoft SQL Server System CLR Types

Components implementing the new Geometry, Geography, and HierarchyId types in SQL Server 2008. This component can be installed separately from the server to allow client applications to use these types outside of the server.

Microsoft SQLXML 4.0 SP1

SQLXML enables XML support for your SQL Server Database, allowing developers to bridge the gap between XML and relational data. SP1 includes support for new SQL Server 2008 data types such as Date, Time, DateTime2 and DateTimeOffset. You can create XML View of your existing relational data and work with it as if it was an XML file. SQLXML allows you to:

- Query relational database with XPath
- Update relational data as if it was XML
- Load XML into SQL Server
- Query SQL Server OLEDB/ADO or .NET Framework Managed Classes

Microsoft Sync Framework

Comprehensive synchronization framework that enables collaboration and offline access for applications, services and devices. Using the Microsoft Sync Framework runtime, developers can build sync ecosystems that integrate any application, with any data from any store using any protocol over any network. Sync Services for ADO.NET is a part of the Microsoft Sync Framework.

Sync Services for ADO.NET enables synchronization between ADO.NET enabled databases. Because Sync Services for ADO.NET is part of the Microsoft Sync Framework, any database that uses Sync Services for ADO.NET can then also exchange information with other data sources that are supported by Microsoft Sync Framework, such as web services, file systems or custom data stores.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Advisor

Analyzes instances of SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 in preparation for upgrading to SQL Server 2008. Upgrade Advisor identifies feature and configuration changes that might affect your upgrade, and it provides links to documentation that describes each identified issue and how to resolve it.

Click here to download SQL Server 2008 Feature Pack