SQL Server 2008 R2 is available and works with Office 2010 and Sharepoint 2010. So why didn’t they just call it SQL Server 2010? Yesterday’s USA Today posed the same question: “Microsoft marketing executives recently made a major gaffe by naming the newest version of its database server software SQL 2008 Revision 2 instead of SQL 2010”…”Sales staff are having a tough time persuading customers that the new version includes revolutionary technologies not just bug fixes”. I am not sure I agree…
First of all, bug fixes are delivered in Service Packs and Cumulative Updates. Most customers know that. The R2 strategy is actually a functional release strategy with added technologies. The original idea was to add value for existing customers and to persuade customers to upgrade to the latest release. This was announced in late 2008, so the last thing Microsoft wanted to do was scare the SQL Server community with the announcement of a new major release when most people were, at best, just evaluating the newly released SQL Server 2008 RTM. There are many customers still running SQL 2000 and 2005. We still offer training for SQL 2005 in addition to SQL 2008.
SQL Server 2008 R2 contains some interesting new functionality: PowerPivot for self-service Business Intelligence with Office Excel 2010: you can create spreadsheets of 100 million rows with instant sort – pretty amazing stuff. You can publish the resultant dynamic charts on Sharepoint 2010 that supports PowerPivot also. R2 also includes the Parallel Data Warehouse edition which supports the DATAllegro scalable appliance architecture for supporting databases into the tens of terabytes and beyond. There is also support for Multi-server management that enables the collection of performance data across many servers to a central “Utility Control Point” for easy dashboard style monitoring.
If someone needs that functionality, I don’t think the name of the product will have any bearing on the buying decision. Maybe it does make it a little confusing for new customers. But don’t forget Microsoft was the company that released SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk 2006 on the same day!