OK so we should have been getting our mitts on SQL Server 2008 RTM yesterday, but it has been delayed, until Q3 which has been know for some time. Microsoft did, however, go ahead with the official release yesterday, regardless that the product has not been released to manufacture. However to keep our appetites “wet” Microsoft have released another CTP (February) which can be downloaded here: Download
SQL Server 2008 is just an enhancement to the already extremely successful end to end BI stack that delivers a well rounded platform for the majority of organisations planning, reporting and analysis needs . Their BI and performance management offering works best when it is implemented as part of a full stack of Microsoft infrastructure that includes SQL Server (including 2008), SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft Office (including Excel 2007). This platform is complemented by PerformancePoint Server 2007, and the obvious tight integration with Excel.
Microsoft are also making further inroads into competing with Teradata, IBM and Oracle with improving the relational database engine with features such as partitioned tables and support for partitioned table parallelism that position it more effectively within the large scale enterprise data warehousing market where IBM, Oracle and Teradata all play. Although still not ready for databases that run into the 100’s of terabytes and possibly petabyte range, the company is making in-roads, it currently has customers working comfortably in the one to 15 Terabyte range and expects SQL Server 2008 to extend this into the 20 to 50 Terabyte range.