Did you know that SQL Server 2008 is right around the corner, and that the SQL development team has just publicly released the latest Community Technology Preview (CTP 6) version?

This latest beta version of SQL 2008 includes many exciting new features like filtered indexes, sparse columns, data compression, Microsoft sync, integrated full text search, Report rendering in Microsoft Word, Data visualization enhancements, extensive Books Online documentation, and the first feature pack.

Now is a great time to try it for yourself!   Download SQL Server 2008 here .

Also, the SQLCAT teams (including us on the SQLCAT ISV team) have been busy working with our customers and partners implementing pre-release (CTP) builds. We have many lessons learned to share with you; these can be found here .

Additionally, we have a number of great best practices papers coming up:

· Index Defragmentation Best Practices

· Best Practices for using Resource Governor with a mixed (OLTP and Reporting) workload

· Data Compression: Design and Implementation Best Practices, Performance Impact

· XEvents Toolkit

· SQL 2008 Usage-Based Optimization Efficacy (subject to name change)

· Scale-Out Querying with Analysis Services 2008

· Best practices for Data Warehousing in SQL Server 2008