Microsoft is releasing the SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 Community Technology Preview November 2006. The CTP release is scheduled for Tuesday, November 7th.
§ Support for the upcoming Windows Vista.
§ Data Mining Add-Ins for Office 2007, which enables data mining functionality from SSAS to be used directly within Excel 2007 and Visio 2007.
§ SSRS integration with MOSS 2007, which allows integration with the Report Center in SharePoint providing seamless consumption and management of SSRS reports within SharePoint.
§ SSAS improvements for Excel 2007 and Excel Services relating to performance and functionality.
Heterogeneous Environments (Interoperability):
§ Oracle Support in Report Builder. Users will now be able to use Report Builder on top of Oracle data sources.
§ Hyperion support with SSRS. Organizations will now be able to use SSRS to build reports on top of Hyperion Essbase cubes.
§ Data compression (varDecimal), which is important for data warehouse scenarios and is specifically important for SAP BW scenarios. This requires less disk storage of decimal data which increases overall performance.
§ Manageability enhancements. Based on customer feedback, SQL Server provides enhanced management capabilities for DBAs such as improvements in database maintenance plans, enhanced management reports and a new copy database wizard.
SQL Server Express Edition
§ Management reports have been added to SQL Server Express Edition enabling customers to get insights into the performance of their Express Edition and SQL Server Compact Edition databases.
§ SQL Server Management Studio Express Edition now enables management of SQL Server Compact Edition databases.
SQL Server 2005 SP2 will ship shortly after the launch of Windows Vista and Office. You can find more details about the features in SP2 at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=71711.