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Microsoft updates SQL Server database

New features include database mirroring, closer ties to SAP's NetWeaver and an updated free version.

Microsoft has released an update to its SQL Server 2005 that adds a handful of new features to the database software.

The company on Wednesday said Service Pack 1 for SQL Server 2005 includes new database mirroring tools and closer ties to SAP's NetWeaver software. Microsoft has also updated its free version of SQL Server 2005.

Microsoft's long-awaited SQL Server 2005, which debuted in November, is designed to go head-to-head with products from Oracle and other rivals.

SP1 will include a link to software that let's customers import SAP Business Information Warehouse data and more easily create and manage reports.

Microsoft's new service pack also includes data mirroring, which aims to provide users with database snapshots to aid in disaster recovery.

The software giant's free version of the server software, SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, will also get some added features, such as full text search, with SP1. The update will also include SQL Server Management Studio Express, a simplified graphical management tool.