Microsoft sums up the new features with three bullet points, that are essentially the following (which, I see potential in at least two items):
- You can "slipstream" a SQL Server 2008 update and the original installation media so that original media and the update [presumably Service Pack 1 for example] are installed at the same time in future installs. Slipstreaming is an installation method that integrates the base installation files for a program with its service packs and enables them to be installed in a single step. The [SQL-Server 2008] update setup documentation available from the SQL Server Download Center has the most recent description of the slipstream process [including SP1 changes that make slipstreaming SQL2008 SP1 possible]. I plan to try this out soon using SQL-Server 2008 Developer Edition with SP1 as my slipstreamed update of choice. I really hate having to install Microsoft products and then apply all sorts of Service Packs and updates in addition (which of course means, more installation time, more reboots, and correspondingly more system down time), so this is quite welcome!
- SQL Server 2008 SP1 now introduces the ability to uninstall cumulative updates or service packs via Programs and Features in Control Panel. I have not tried this yet; I will take their word for it, though I can only imagine the horror stories that will appear on blogs in the near future when people attempt to do this :)
- SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 provides a ClickOnce version of Report Builder 2.0. [my only comments: I have no idea what this is or why I even should care... I build databases, not reports, using SQL-Server; when I need reports, I use a "real" report builder that has wide adoption and a longer track record... at least for now]
SQL2008 is yet another solid version of this database platform, and surely deserves a look if you have not upgraded from SQL2000 or SQL2008 (if you are using a version older than either of those, well, you are simply insane).
Now, I will look forward to SQL-Server 2008 SP2, or perhaps SQL-Server 2008 SP3 to introduces some nifty new features that may be more enticing to me as a database designer and database software developer. I expect the SQL-Server 2008 SP2 Release Date will be long ways off yet, and I suspect it will not even come until 2010. So, for now, off to play with SQL2008 SP1 I go...