While Microsoft is making its way toward the next generation of its data platform, the company is also kicking up a notch older releases of SQL Server. The free version of SQL Server 2008 is currently available for download, complete with the first service pack released earlier this year. Customers are free to leverage SQL Server 2008 Express when developing desktop and small server applications, and can also be redistributed by Independent Software vendors (ISVs). The SQL Server 2008 Express Service Pack 1 (SP1) bits are currently live and up for grabs on the Microsoft Download Center.
” Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express is a powerful and reliable data management system that delivers a rich set of features, data protection, and performance for embedded application clients, light Web applications, and local data stores. Designed for easy deployment and rapid prototyping, SQL Server 2008 Express is available at no cost, and you are free to redistribute it with applications. It is designed to integrate seamlessly with your other server infrastructure investments,” Microsoft stated.
As of mid-November 2009, early adopters test driving the next version of SQL Server have also been able to play with the future iteration of the Express edition. The past month Microsoft released, SQL Server 2008 R2 November Community Technology Preview (CTP), a download which continues to be available even at this time. Testers of SQL Server 2008 R2 November CTP will notice that Microsoft has consistently simplified the SQL Server Express as far as the installation process goes. However, there are additional enhancements.
“In this release, we have completed the following: reduced the number of clicks by 50% when performing an install. all inputs are defaulted on Vista and above operating systems. (many inputs are defaults on Windows XP and Windows 2003, except for the service accounts). Skip (auto advance) through the UI, meaning non-essential dialogs will still be skipped. Reduced the size of the Express basic package,” revealed a member of the SQL Server Express team.
SQL Server 2008 Express Service Pack 1 (SP1) is available for download here.
SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is available for download here.
SQL Server 2008 R2 November CTP is available for download here.
Office 2010 Beta 14.0.4536.1000 is available for download here.