Tuesday and Wednesday of this week we are working with a number of UK ISVs around the broad topic of BI - spanning Integration Services to Data Mining.

Most of the ISVs have been using their own machines but a couple have been using a MS internal VPC - with the challenge that they wouldn't be able to take the VPC away with them. Thankfully our VHD initiative has come to the rescue. I downloaded the SQL Server 2005 Enterprise VHD from http://www.microsoft.com/technet/try/vhd/default.mspx.

The image comes down as a self extracting RAR (split into several files) of around 4GB which once combined with VPC 2007 gives you a virtual machine running Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition - and little else. The obvious bits missing for me were the samples, including the Northwind databases. These you can download separately.

Quote of the two days so far:

"Wow - it is that easy in 2005!"