Microsoft releases SQL Server 2008

After being quietly dropped from the Windows Server 2008 launch this year, Microsoft has released SQL Server 2008 to manufacturing.

The latest version of the database software arrives three years after the launch of the last version.

The emphasis with the new version is on high scalability, with Microsoft trumpeting features such as improved policy-based management, large-scale data warehousing and new reporting tools.

"SQL Server 2008 is the only major database that includes comprehensive, tightly integrated functionality for data management as well as advanced business intelligence out of the box," claimed Ted Kummert, corporate vice president of the data and storage platform division at Microsoft. "By offering a complete solution, we save customers time and money and allow them to focus on deriving the most value from their data assets."

There are no less than seven different versions of SQL Server 2008: Enterprise, Standard, Workgroup, Web, Developer, Express and finally Compact 3.5.

The first five are available to download for evaluation purposes from TechNet and MSDN, while Express and Compact can be downloaded for free here.

Barry Collins

Barry Collins is an experienced IT journalist who specialises in Windows, Mac, broadband and more. He's a former editor of PC Pro magazine, and has contributed to many national newspapers, magazines and websites in a career that has spanned over 20 years. You may have seen Barry as a tech pundit on television and radio, including BBC Newsnight, the Chris Evans Show and ITN News at Ten.