Microsoft has just announced the release of the August Community Technology Preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2008 R2. You might have heard about this before when people talked about Kilimanjaro and Project Gemini.

Why should you download the CTP?

  • Explore the enhanced database management capabilities in SQL Server Management Studio.
  • Preview SQL Server StreamInsight, Microsoft’s new complex event processing technology
  • Be the first in your organization to run SQL Server on more than 64 processor cores.
  • Provide early feedback to the development team.

The Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 August Community Technology Preview (CTP)
includes Application and Multi-server Management which will help
organizations manage database environments efficiently at scale with
increased visibility and control across the application lifecycle. Also
included is Report Builder 3.0 with support for geospatial visualization
(mapping, routing, custom shapes) which can help produce new insights and
discoveries well beyond what can be achieved with standard tables and charts
when geospatial data is combined with business information. Microsoft® SQL
Server® StreamInsight will also be made available for Community Technology
Preview in the coming weeks. This new complex event processing technology
will help businesses derive better insights by correlating event streams
from multiple sources with near-zero latency.

Learn more about SQL Server 2008 R2 here: http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/r2.aspx

Download the SQL Server 2008 R2 August CTP
Available on August 10th to TechNet/MSDN Subscribers and on August 12th to the general public

The download link does not work yet but will be available very soon. You can also find it in MSDN under Updated Products–>SQL Server 2008, here is what is available
SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Evaluation (x86) – (English)
1,249.31 (MB)

SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Evaluation (x64) – (English)
1,350.25 (MB)

SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Evaluation (ia64) – (English)
1,334.92 (MB)

SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Edition CTP (x86 and x64 WoW) – (English)
100.76 (MB)

SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Edition CTP (x64) – (English)
113.46 (MB)

SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Edition CTP (x86) – (English)
86.33 (MB)

There is a lot more coming, from the SQL Server news blog

SQL Server 2008 R2 August CTP is only the first in a string of CTPs launching this month. In the coming weeks we’ll also launch CTPs for low latency complex event processing now called StreamInsight, the first CTP for SQL Azure Database, a limited preview of Project “Gemini” Excel and SharePoint add-ins and a private technology preview of Project Madison, Microsoft’s massively scalable data warehousing solution, with a select group of customers. Stay tuned to this page, where we’ll be announcing new CTPs as they become available.

We’re very excited about the progress toward the big launch of SQL Server 2008 R2 next year and are looking forward to your feedback to help us get there!

Make sure to check out the SQL Server 2008 R2 Books Online (August CTP) which has information what is new in this release.

According to SQL Server 2008 R2 Books Online (August CTP)

Creating a SQL Server utility control point (UCP): Install a single instance of the SQL Server 2008 R2 Database Engine and then promote it to be the UCP. The UCP is the central repository for configuration and performance data collected for all the instances enrolled in the SQL Server Utility. The UCP is the central reasoning point for the SQL Server Utility. It supports actions such as applying central policies, or analyzing resource utilization trends of an instance to predict when it might exceed central resource utilization polices.

You can find more info in the link above about:

  • Overview of SQL Server Utility.
  • How to: Create a SQL Server Utility Control Point (SQL Server Utility).
  • How to: Enroll an Instance of SQL Server (SQL Server Utility).
  • Monitoring Instances of SQL Server in the SQL Server Utility.

Also mentioned is Data-Tier Application

Data-Tier Application
A data-tier application (DAC) simplifies the development, deployment, and management of the data-tier objects that support a multi-tier or client-server application. A DAC defines all of the Database Engine schema and instance objects, such as tables, views, and logins, required to support the application. The DAC operates as a single unit of management through the development, deployment, and management lifecycle of the associated application. The DAC also contains policies that define the deployment prerequisites for the DAC.

*** If you have a SQL related question try our Microsoft SQL Server Programming forum or our Microsoft SQL Server Admin forum