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New Training Kit For SQL Server 2008 R2

The buzz today is all about Visual Studio 2010 finally being released, of course, but you data hounds may be more interested in next month's launch of SQL Server 2008 R2.

Some of the more interesting features of R2 are the emphasis on "self-service BI" that comes through the new PowerPivot plug-ins for Excel and SharePoint and new Datacenter and Parallel Data Warehouse editions.

Speaking of the former: some users of the CTP version of PowerPivot for Excel were victims of a kind of April Fools' joke that I found out about when I was tinkering with PowerPivot and a new data visualization tool last week. PowerPivot wouldn't work for me. I discovered that a bug in the November CTP made the add-in expire on April 1. That made a lot of people quite irate. "You are really killing me here," said one. "This expiration is a complete disaster that really pulled the rug out from under us," said another.

Comments like that make me wonder about the wisdom of using prerelease software for real-world business apps in which you are heavily invested and dependent upon.

I got around the bug by following one user's advice and setting my PC's system clock back—and it worked! (Which reminds me, I have to set that back to normal….) I used that trick long ago in my youth when I was trying to, uh, borrow certain software packages for testing and evaluation purposes only, but somewhere along the line developers got wise to it and it no longer worked.

Anyway, if you really want to sink your teeth into R2, another Microsoft announcement today may just be your ticket: The SQL Server 2008 R2 Update for Developers Training Kit - April 2010 Update was released, according to an 11:16 a.m. blog post by Roger Doherty.

The training kit was first released in February. The April update features a bunch of new presentations, demos, hands-on labs and videos focused on Reporting Services. Last month's update tackled StreamInsight, which is described as "Complex Event Processing technology to help businesses derive better insights by correlating event streams from multiple sources with near-zero latency."

So get all trained-up on the new version and stay tuned for more details to be released during the PASS European Conference 2010 next week in Germany. Should be interesting.

What streaming insights do you have? What about tricks to let you use games and apps for evaluation purposes only? How has prerelease software victimized your business in the past? Comment here or send me an e-mail.

Posted by David Ramel on 04/12/2010

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