Database managers can now take a look at Service Pack 1 for SQL Server 2005. Microsoft has released a Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the service pack, which includes some new features as well as a few fixes and adjustments.
SP1 can be downloaded for free on Microsoft's Web site. It includes SQL Server Management Studio Express, a tool that helps database managers run the free version of SQL. Another feature administrators will be able to try out is full database mirroring, which was expected in last fall's release of SQL Server, but ultimately was not included.
Microsoft is emphasizing its CTP program with this release. The initiative, first started with Visual Studio 2005, allows a wider audience of users to test a product and provide the company with feedback. This is the first CTP for a Microsoft service pack.
The final release for SP1 is scheduled for next month.