[Cross-posting from my own blog]

SQLServer2008_R2

The August CTP download is available for MSDN and TechNet subscribers. The public download is now also active here.

The Data Platform Insider blog provides an overview of what's new in this first public CTP release for SQL Server 2008 R2.  If you are reading this blog, you are probably interested in knowing what’s new in Reporting Services 2008 R2, and already in August CTP:

  • Map and spatial data visualization Map
    We provided sneak previews of this functionality at past conferences, including a popular “BI Power Hour” demo.  Maps can be very powerful visualizations.  They can consume and visualize geospatial and geometry data directly (as shown by Ed Katibah here), “regular” data, and combine multiple datasets using map layers.  Maps can integrate ESRI shape files, as well as directly integrate with Bing Maps.   
     
  • Report Builder 3.0
    The most notable new Report Builder feature area already available in the August CTP is the so-called "server mode": 
    - An edit session concept enables support for embedded data source credentials, relative references, and subreport references when connected to a report server.
    - Dataset results are cached when connected to a report server, which speeds up making layout changes and previewing the new report.
     
  • ATOM data feeds
    AtomDataFeed Reports are now also available in the ATOM standard compliant format that can be consumed by Gemini and other tools.
     
  • AJAX Report Viewer
    The August CTP provides a preview of some of the functionality that will be available in the stand-alone report viewer control with the upcoming Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 release.  You will notice a more fluid navigation experience in August CTP.
     
  • Report Manager
    Report Manager received visual and functional improvements with SharePoint-like interaction and menus.
     
  • RDL Expression Language enhancements
    We added direct geospatial data & function support, as well as three types of Lookup functions (Lookup, LookupSet, MultiLookup). 

On top of that, there are several more new Reporting Services and RDL features available in August CTP, including a few in combination with Gemini and SharePoint in a limited CTP program only.  During the next weeks and months we plan to cover more details on the major areas listed above in further blog postings, e.g. on Robert Bruckner's blog.

Enjoy!

We look forward to hearing your feedback on Reporting Services 2008 R2 August CTP in the dedicated new MSDN discussion forum.