We are very excited to share that today, Microsoft released SQL Server 2008 R2 to manufacturing! To explore what's new in the SQL Server 2008 R2 release, please visit the SQL Server 2008 R2 Digital Tour at www.sqlserverlaunch.com
There are lots of new 'features' in this release of SQL Server, too much to talk about in 1 blog post J
Some of the capabilities that customers and partners will benefit from include:
- PowerPivot: a managed self-service analysis solution that empowers end users to access, analyze and share data across the enterprise in an IT managed environment using Excel 2010 and SharePoint Sever 2010.
- Master Data Services: helps IT organizations centrally manage critical data assets companywide and across diverse systems, and enables more people to securely manage master data directly, and ensure the integrity of information over time.
- Application and Multi-server Management: helps organizations proactively manage database environments efficiently at scale through centralized visibility into resource utilization and streamlined consolidation and upgrade initiatives across the application lifecycle.
- Report Builder 3.0: report authoring component with support for geospatial visualization. This new release provides capabilities to further increase end user productivity with enhanced wizards, more powerful visualizations, and intuitive authoring.
- StreamInsight: a low latency complex event processing platform to help IT monitor, analyze and act on the data in motion to make more informed business decisions in near real-time.
As a reporting services enthousiast, let me give you a short overview on what's new in SQL Server 2008 R2 for Reporting Services:
- Report Part Gallery
The ability for report items / data regions to be published to the report server and made available to other report authors to re-use. Report authors can publish and share these report components from either BIDS or Report Builder 3.0. Information workers can use Report Builder to mash these report components together into their own unique views by simple drag & drop. This includes notifications when a report part was updated on the report server in the meantime.
- Shared Data Sets
Datasets can now be shared, stored, processed and cached externally from the report. Cache refresh plans let you cache reports or shared dataset query results on first use or from a schedule.
- Enhanced SharePoint Integration for SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010
This includes support for multiple SharePoint Zones, the SharePoint Universal Logging service, and Report Parts. Microsoft added a new SharePoint List data extension with query designer support. Furthermore, support for right-to-left text with Arabic and Hebrew was added in the SharePoint user interface.
- New Data Visualization Report Items
Data Bars - each bar is scaled based on the maximum value of the immediate group (a default which can be adjusted).
Sparklines are data-intense, word-sized graphics. These visualizations make it possible for report consumers to quickly see things like trends over time at a glance.
Indicators are small icons that are often used to depict the status or trend for a given value. Setting up indicators based on a number of pre-configured sets is now very easy.
Furthermore, this CTP includes improvements to the Map wizard.
- Enhanced Business Intelligence Development Studio
Support for 2008 and 2008 R2 versions of reports and report projects.
- Aggregates of Aggregates
This enables report authors to nest RDL aggregate expressions inside other RDL aggregate expressions with unlimited nesting levels. For example, the expression =Avg(Sum(Sales, "Month"), "Year") would compute the average total monthly sales.
- Other RDL Expression Language enhancements
- Writing expressions that take into account the current rendering format (=Globals!RenderFormat.Name)
- Naming pages, including naming of Excel worksheets for Excel export
- Group.DomainScope is quite useful for synchronizing data visually across different charts / sparklines and in tablix even if data is only available at disparate granularities.
- Read/Write report variables with automatic serialization/persistence; these are quite useful to avoid managing your own custom code variables.
- Rotating Text 270 Degrees, which is frequently needed for narrow column layouts.
- Dynamic page breaks, as well as resetting page number of page breaks
- New 2010 SOAP Endpoint
While the existing 2005/2006 SOAP endpoints are still supported, the 2010 endpoint unifies support of both native & SharePoint integrated servers and adds functionality for new areas such as shared datasets, cache refresh plans, and report parts.
- Improved Browser and Standards Mode Support