SQL Server 2005 Technical Preview Features Reporting Improvements

Microsoft released its third Community Technical Preview for SQL Server 2005 this month with a new ad hoc reporting tool and 64-bit support for more components of Microsoft's flagship database.

As the schedule for the Beta 3 version of SQL Server 2005 stretched further out from the summer 2004 Beta 2 version, Microsoft began releasing Community Technical Previews. One came out in October and another shipped in December. They are available on MSDN and to SQL Server beta testers. Microsoft must deliver the Beta 3 version of SQL Server 2005 this month to meet the current schedule, which calls for the test version in the first quarter of this year.

The latest CTP is the most feature-packed of the three, and follows Microsoft's recent disclosure of the pricing and editions for SQL Server 2005.

Top feature billing goes to Report Builder, a new component of SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition. Based on technology acquired from ActiveViews Inc. last year, it is a self-service, ad hoc report building client built on SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services.

The group of SQL Server components receiving 64-bit support for the first time in the new CTP are Reporting Services, Notification Services and management, development and configuration tools.

The CTP also includes enhanced integration with Visual Studio 2005, performance improvements in Management Studio and a SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2005 upgrade tool.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.