Microsoft released the second service pack for SQL Server 2008 this week, with support for up to 15,000 database partitions, updates to reporting and management tools, and integration with SharePoint 2010.
Service Pack 2 supports up to 15,000 partitions in tables and indexes. Partitions make large tables more manageable and scalable, and were first introduced with SQL Server 2005. SQL Server 2008 originally supported only 1,000 partitions, according to a technical white paper released by Microsoft.
Service Pack 2 also updates the integration of reporting services with Microsoft SharePoint.
"SQL Server 2008 SP2 report servers can integrate with SharePoint 2010 products," the official SQL Server blog reports. "SQL Server 2008 SP2 also provides a new add-in to support the integration of SQL Server 2008 R2 report servers with SharePoint 2007 products. This now enables SharePoint Server 2007 to be used with SQL Server 2008 R2 Report Server."
While Service Pack 2 includes updates from Service Pack 1, SP1 is not a prerequisite for installing the second service pack. SP2 can be used to upgrade any edition of SQL Server 2008. However, it cannot be used to upgrade SQL Server 2008 Release 2, which came out a few months ago.
SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 are considered separate releases, and therefore each one gets its own service packs. So far, two service packs have been issued for SQL Server 2008, but none for R2.
Although this week's service pack can't be applied to the second release of SQL Server 2008, it does include some compatibility features that allow the older version to work with R2.
There are free editions of SQL Server, including SQL Server Express. But in general pricing of SQL Server ranges between $3,500 and $55,000 per processor.