Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 1, now available, packs a few surprises, as well as the data mirroring and Express management perks that the company has promised.
SP1 of SQL Server 2005 and its integral reporting tool is shipping with hooks for faster, better links to SAP data. It includes two new components: the .Net Data Provider for SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence and the MDX Query Designer for slicing and dicing SAP data warehouse information as needed.
The first component is basically the pipeline between the ERP data-warehouse back end and the database. The other component is for querying and reporting from that data, said Carol Dullmeyer, senior product manager at Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft.
Also a surprise, the freebie SQL Server Express SP1 adds a version of reporting services and full text search. The moves were made in response to customer requests, said Mark Jewett, senior product manager at Microsoft.
"This lets you write reports against data and get the full text search as well," he said.
SP1 also includes the promised management console for Express. Both the Express management console and data mirroring had been held back from the general SQL Server 2005 release last November so they could be tested more fully and shaken out.