SQL Server 2008 R2Today, April 21, 2010, at 9:30am CDT, Microsoft announces the release-to-manufacturing of SQL Server 2008 R2.

Watch the SQL Server Virtual Press Room for the official announcement.

“What are the big benefits, Kevin?”

Your end users and consumers of “the right information, right now” will love the big improvements in “self-service” BI; taking advantage of tools they already know like Excel and the new PowerPivot pivot table capabilities in Excel 2010.   Developers will appreciate new options for application deployment and management. And IT (you folks) will see new options for massive scale, data security, and resiliency. 

The official press release summarizes the main benefits as:

  1. Managed self-service business intelligence (BI) for reporting and analysis
  2. Enterprise-class scalability and greater IT efficiency
  3. Platform integration spanning the datacenter to the cloud

Here are a few of the videos from the R2 Digital Tour website…

Introduction:

Get Microsoft Silverlight

The “BI for the masses” story:

Get Microsoft Silverlight

The Developer Story:

Get Microsoft Silverlight

The IT (you folks) Story:

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Take the complete “Digital Tour” here: http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/tour, complete with more videos, testimonials, test drives, and trial downloads.

And as always, you lucky TechNet Subscribers should watch the TechNet site for the RTM code to be available for you to download within the next few weeks.

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“Gee Kevin.. you were right.  In less than a week we’ve seen some amazing releases.  It must be one big long party in Redmond.”

Yes indeed.  These are exciting times.