SQL Server 2008 Release Candidate 0 (RC0) has shipped! You can get RC0 from http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/trial-software.aspx. After you've installed SQL Server 2008, try out the latest batch of samples and sample databases at http://CodePlex.com/SqlServerSamples. New for this release is the rest of the AdventureWorks 2008 family of sample databases including AWAS2008 (the analysis services database) and AWLT2008 (the light weight AdventureWorks OLTP database for 2008). There are also some new OLEDB and ODBC samples.
At CodePlex you can browse the source code for samples without downloading, and then download just the samples from the particular sample area you want. Or, if you like, you can download all of the sample code all at once. The sample databases can be downloaded from http://www.codeplex.com/MSFTDBProdSamples/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx. You may notice our installers are sporting a new look and a new UI. We hope these installers will be the easiest ones to use yet.
As we get close to completing SQL Server 2008 we begin to naturally look forward to the next thing. If you have input on where you would like more samples or if you have some ideas around SQL Server and community software development I hope you'll add a comment to this blog entry. If there is some way we can help you be more effective in your job please let us know.