Service Pack 2 for SQL Server arrives

Microsoft's release of updates for database application is accompanied by rule change for use on virtual servers.

Microsoft has released a second free service pack for its popular SQL Server 2005 database application.

SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2--a large, recommended bundle of tweaks--aims to make the database software compatible with Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system and Office 2007 suite. The update, released Monday, also adds a number of data compression, manageability and interoperability enhancements.

The software maker has changed the terms under which SQL Server 2005 can be run using virtualization software.

" expanding virtualization use rights to allow unlimited virtual instances on servers that are fully licensed for SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition," the company said in a statement announcing the SP2 update.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company also said it has submitted SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 1 to the German government to be certified under the . SQL Server 2005 SP2 is undergoing evaluation for the EAL4+ standard.

"Applying for Common Criteria certification--a procurement requirement of many governments and a preference for several industries and customers--demonstrates Microsoft's commitment to building security technology into SQL Server 2005," the software maker said.

"The Common Criteria evaluations of SP1 and SP2 will be formally recognized by the governments of 24 countries that signed the Common Criteria Recognition Agreement, including Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, and informally recognized by as many as 30 additional countries," it added.

SQL Server 2005 SP2 can be downloaded from Microsoft's Web site.

Renai LeMay of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.

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