Released: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1

This week is packed with big announcements: We released Microsoft SQL Server Code Name “Denali” Community Technology Preview 3 (CTP3) with breakthrough innovations that will help our customers to shape their Business Intelligence (BI) future; and we also released Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 with important improvements of our existing technologies, and PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel 2010 was also updated as a separate download.

Overall, SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 consolidates more than 150 quick fixes and improvements. For example, under some circumstances, MDX queries might consume all the physical memory on a computer running Analysis Services 2008 R2 and eventually fail with an “out of memory” error. So, we investigated the circumstances, optimized the affected algorithms, and solved the issue in SP1. In other cases, we simply rephrased error messages to provide better guidance. Particularly, some of our PowerPivot for SharePoint health rule error messages were confusing and misleading. This was also a great opportunity to fix a number of localization issues.

We didn’t add new functionality to PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel 2010, but PowerPivot for SharePoint introduces two new configuration settings that let you determine how long cached data stays in the system. In the new Disk Cache section on the PowerPivot configuration page, you can specify how long an inactive database remains in memory before it is unloaded. You can also limit how long a cached file is kept on disk before it is deleted. Also noteworthy are the performance and scalability improvements that you can gain by using SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 together with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Service Pack 1. In fact, some optimizations in SharePoint 2010 SP1 might require you to update PowerPivot in your farm to SP1; especially if you notice that the PowerPivot Management Dashboard is missing workbook activity data or that the workbook snapshot generation in the PowerPivot Gallery stops working after an upgrade to SharePoint 2010 SP1.

For a detailed list of new features and improvements that are included in SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1, review the What’s New Section in Release Notes.