I asked for your oppinions about a new Report Designer in one of my earlier posts in this blog. I wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to offer feedback and for those of you who even filed a bug or two. As you've probably already guessed from the title, our ultimate decision was to stick with Business Intellegence Developers Studio for report design in SQL Express with Advanced Services 2008.

 It's always a tough decision to make trade-offs between different scenarios and this case was no different. Stick with the rich, developer experience offered by the Visual Studio integration of BIDS or move to a more end-user focused experience that is friendly looking but doesn't have the developer features. (I know you're going to suggest that we just hand out both, but hey, it's a free product so you only get one. We have to share the new stuff with the other Editions too.) We desided to continue supporting the developer scenarios and will continue to offer BIDS are part of the Express family.

Not to worry, many of the advances in the design surface are shared between both BIDS and the new Report Builder. There are also some advances in Reporting Services Express it self, which I'll share when we're closer to releasing a CTP of that.

While the discussion about Report Builder is done, the February CTP has just begun. You can download it from here. (Bottom of the page under the Instructions heading. It's a bit hard to find on the page so keep looking.) I look forward to your feedback.

 - Mike