What’s new in SQL Server 2008 CTP5? Start by RTFR and RTFBOL

With any new product or CTP, I’ve always gotten fast results by starting with the readme.txt file that comes with the product/CTP. Although its now called ReadmeSQL2008.htm, its still worth reading. This usually gives you answers about install scenarios and last-minute changes.

For example, this readme file answers two of the (so-far) FAQs about CTP5.
  What happened to Surface Area Configuration Utility?
  Can I install SQL Server 2008 CTP on Windows Server 2008? (ie, is it officially supported)

You’ll need to RTFR for answers to these.

Right after the readme file, the first thing to do (after you’ve installed it) is to take a gander at the SQL Server Books Online, in the “What’s New” section. Here’s a bookmark for those without the facility to look in the TOC. mshelp://MS.SQLCC.v10/MS.SQLSVR.v10.en/s10sq_GetStart/html/6a428023-e3cc-4626-a88a-4c13ccbd7db0.htm.

There’s WAY TOO MANY new features in this CTP to describe in a few sentences. And the BOL writers have really had their hands full with this CTP, by the looks of the sheer volume of new material. Enough to keep anyone reading and experiementing for weeks. However…

Every once in a while something slips through the readme and What’s new, or isn’t finished yet, like the “What’s new in SQL Server Installation” section. Or folks think of new ways to use features the BOL writers hadn’t thought of. Or want to expound on the repercussions of feature XYZ. Stay tuned for these.

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