The Data Platform Insider blog provides an overview of what's new in this first public CTP release for SQL Server 2008 R2. If you are reading my blog, you are probably interested in knowing what’s new in Reporting Services 2008 R2, and already in August CTP:
- Map and spatial data visualization
We provided sneak previews of this functionality at past conferences, including a popular “BI Power Hour” demo. Maps can be very powerful visualizations. They can consume and visualize geospatial and geometry data directly (as shown by Ed Katibah here), “regular” data, and combine multiple datasets using map layers. Maps can integrate ESRI shape files, as well as directly integrate with Bing Maps. More details in upcoming postings.
- Report Builder 3.0
The most notable new Report Builder feature area already available in the August CTP is the so-called "server mode":
- An edit session concept enables support for embedded data source credentials, relative references, and subreport references when connected to a report server.
- Dataset results are cached when connected to a report server, which speeds up making layout changes and previewing the new report.
- ATOM data feeds
Reports are now also available in the ATOM standard compliant format that can be consumed by Gemini and other tools.
Update: Teo Lachev takes an initial look at data feeds here.
- AJAX Report Viewer
The August CTP provides a preview of some of the functionality that will be available in the stand-alone report viewer control with the upcoming Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 release. You will notice a more fluid navigation experience in August CTP.
- Report Manager
Report Manager received visual and functional improvements with SharePoint-like interaction and menus.
Update: Teo Lachev provides his take on report manager with screenshots here.
- RDL Expression Language enhancements
We added direct geospatial data & function support, as well as three types of Lookup functions (Lookup, LookupSet, MultiLookup). More about this in upcoming postings.
On top of that, there are several more new Reporting Services and RDL features available in August CTP, including a few in combination with Gemini and SharePoint in a limited CTP program only. During the next weeks and months I plan to cover more details on the major areas listed above, and perhaps some of the other additions like report sections.
I look forward to hearing your feedback on Reporting Services 2008 R2 August CTP in the dedicated new MSDN discussion forum.