Microsoft has silently released SQL Server 2008 R2 to manufacturing. The company has yet to officially announce any details related to the finalization of its latest data platform, however, a number of SQL Server 2008 R2 releases on the Microsoft Download Center feature the RTM tag. The Redmond company insisted that it was planning to sign off SQL Server 2008 R2 by May 2010, but it did not provide a specific RTM deadline.
There are now no less than four downloads live, claiming to offer the RTM bits of SQL Server 2008’s successor. At the time of this article, the following releases were available on the Microsoft Download Center: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM – Express; Microsoft SQL Server2008 R2 RTM - Express with Advanced Services; Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM - Express with Management Tools and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM - Management Studio Express.
SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM – Express was apparently released as early as April 16th, 2010. Still, in this specific case, the date featured on the Download Center might not be the actual RTM deadline. SQL Server2008 R2 RTM - Express with Advanced Services went live on April 19th, while SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM - Express with Management Tools and SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM - Management Studio Express have been available as of April 20th.
At the end of March 2010, Microsoft announced that the SQL Server 2008 R2 Launch Tour was planned for kick off today, April 21st. This could just be a coincidence, of course, but it can also mean that Microsoft has wrapped up the data platform and is gearing up to make the official announcement.
What is interesting is that my MSDN account still offers the November Community Technology Preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2008 R2. This, while the downloads with the RTM bits are apparently already live on the Download Center. The general rule is, of course, for MSDN and TechNet subscribers to get the latest products ahead of the public.
UPDATE: It’s official, today, April 21st, 2010, SQL Server 2010 was released to manufacturing.
The new SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM downloads are available here.