SQL Server 2008 R2 release set for May

The new edition features more features, but higher price tags as well

SQL Server 2008 R2, the latest version of Microsoft's flagship database, will be generally available in May, the company said Tuesday.

Now in a technology preview, the release features improved server management and data compression, as well as "self-service" BI (business intelligence) capabilities.

Microsoft will also offer a pair of premium versions, Datacenter Edition and Parallel Data Warehouse. The first includes CEP (complex event processing) capabilities and the latter allows companies to build data warehouses in the hundreds of terabytes, according to Microsoft.

Per-processor pricing is $US7,499 for Standard Edition and $US28,749 for Enterprise Edition, up from $US5,999 and $US24,999 for SQL Server 2008. Processor licenses cost $US57,498 for either Datacenter Edition or Parallel Edition.

Under Microsoft's CAL (Client Access License) program, R2 Standard Edition is $US1,849 per server with five CALs and Enterprise Edition is $US13,969 with 25 CALs. Microsoft is not offering a CAL option for Datacenter or Parallel Data Warehouse.

Meanwhile, customers who are still on the initial RTM version of SQL Server 2008 are facing a ticking clock, as Microsoft is set to stop supporting that release as of April 13. Redmond already ended support for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 on Jan. 12.

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