What's New (Database Engine)
This latest release of the SQL Server Database Engine introduces new features and enhancements that increase the power and productivity of architects, developers, and administrators who design, develop, and maintain data storage systems.
These are the areas in which the Database Engine has been enhanced for both SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008.
SQL Server 2008 R2 introduces the SQL Server Utility, which provides the ability to enroll data-tier applications and instances of SQL Server into the SQL Server Utility for centralized management and consolidation. Another addition is the data-tier application (DAC), which provides a single unit of deployment and management for the data-tier objects used by an application.
SQL Server 2008 R2 introduces Unicode compression. Data that is stored in nvarchar(n) and nchar(n) columns can be compressed by using an implementation of the Standard Compression Scheme for Unicode (SCSU) algorithm.
Security enhancements in the Database Engine include new encryption functions, the transparent data encryption and extensible key management features, and a clarification of DES algorithms.
The largest database supported by SQL Server Express has been increased from 4 GB to 10 GB.
SQL Server 2008 R2 enhances security by enforcing FQDN subjects for certificates. Applications that rely upon relaxed validation must take action.
SQL Server 2008 R2 supports wildcards certificates. For more information, see KB258858.
These are the areas in which the Database Engine was enhanced for SQL Server 2008, but no additional enhancements were included in SQL Server 2008 R2.
The availability of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 databases is improved by enhancements to database mirroring. Database mirroring enables the creation of hot standby servers that provide rapid failover support with no loss of data from committed transactions.
Programmability enhancements in the Database Engine include new data storage features, new data types, new full-text search architecture, and numerous improvements and additions to Transact-SQL.