SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 Preview is Available

The CTP (aka beta) of SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 is out & available. Go here for details and to download. Microsoft’s community techology preview program is our way of releasing betas to the community for you to test out, try out and provide feedback as part of the release process. This is not a production-ready release and so do not use this yet on any production SQL Server 2008 R2 databases yet. But please do download it and give us your feedback on your development and test boxes.

The SP1 for 2008 R2 is essentially CU 1 – 6, so this is good news for those who have waited for an SP instead of actively loading each cumulative update. You will also get a few new features which are listed for you in the product page blog link I listed above. Some of the things that I noticed are new in-place upgrade methods for Data-Tier Application packs and the ability to control Disk Cache for PowerPivot.

Enjoy! Mark

Upgrading to SQL Server 2008?

The Microsoft public information page has most of everything you need for your upgrade planning, testing, strategy and techncial information here. My personal recommendations are to check-out Scalability Expert’s Assistant tool that is linked at the bottom of that Microsoft page. And be sure that you also run the Microsoft upgrade Advisor tool, toward the upper portion of the info web page.

The technical reference guide for upgrades on that page is invaluable and I use it all the time when planning customer upgrades for SQL Server. Download it and keep it handy as a way to reference specific parts of your upgrade project. You probably won’t get to read the entire document. It is almost 500 pages long!

Another set of partners, Dell & Principled Technologies, put together a SQL Server 2000 to 2008 migration guide for those of you out there needing to upgrade your older SQL Server 2000 databases. This PDF has a section on migrating database logins, a popular topic in SQL Server migration-land. It also has information on discontinued features and mentions several best practices.

If you are moving from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008, remember that DTS was re-written as SSIS. Check out this handy posting on Search SQL Server by Joe Toscano for how to approach migrating from DTS to SSIS. And be sure to utilize the SQL Server DTS Migration Wizard to help with migrations to SSIS.