SQL Server 2008 R2 is the next generation of the Microsoft SQL Server platform. The release is planned for the first half of calendar year 2010 but for those who can’t wait there is as always a community technology preview (CTP). The August CTP has lots of new features and from the mapping perspective the most interesting one is the integration of a maps in SQL Server Reporting Services. With just a few mouse-clicks you can generate thematic maps from spatial data stored as GEOMTRY or GEOGRAPHY data types in SQL Server 2008 or from ESRI SHP-files and you can use Bing Maps roads, aerial or hybrid images as background data.
If you are as nosy as me, you can download the CTP here. Check it out it’s really incredible simple.