SQL Server 2008 RTM is released, its official now!
Microsoft press announces that SQL Server 2008 is available for users and as per PressRelease :
...announced the release to manufacturing of Microsoft SQL Server 2008, the new version of the company’s acclaimed data management and business intelligence platform. This version of SQL Server provides powerful new capabilities such as support for policy-based management, auditing, large-scale data warehousing, geospatial data, and advanced reporting and analysis services. SQL Server 2008 provides the trusted, productive and intelligent platform necessary for business-critical applications.
It is indeed a great news for the SQL Server users about 2008 RTM, as their journey begins since last year from CTP4 onwards from this CTP-Post & [SQL Server 2008 features and getting through CTP, RC, RTM. Are we there yet?] here.
So now the question is about number of editions that are available, it will be (as per BOL):
SQL Server 2008 Enterprise. SQL Server 2008 Enterprise is a comprehensive data management and business intelligence platform that provides enterprise-class scalability, data warehousing, security, advanced analytics and reporting support for running business-critical applications. With this edition, it is possible to consolidate servers and perform large-scale online transactional processing.
SQL Server 2008 Standard. SQL Server 2008 Standard is a complete data management and business intelligence platform that provides best-in-class ease of use and manageability for running departmental applications.
SQL Server 2008 Workgroup. SQL Server 2008 Workgroup is a reliable data management and reporting platform that delivers secure, remote synchronization and management capabilities for running branch applications. This edition includes core database features and is easy to upgrade to the Standard or Enterprise edition.
SQL Server 2008 Web. SQL Server 2008 Web is designed for highly available, Internet-facing Web-serving environments running on Windows Server. SQL Server 2008 Web provides the tools necessary to support low-cost, large-scale, highly available Web applications or hosting solutions for customers.
SQL Server 2008 Developer. SQL Server 2008 Developer allows developers to build and test any type of application with SQL Server. This edition features all of the functionality of SQL Server Enterprise but is licensed only for development, test and demo use. Applications and databases developed on this edition can easily be upgraded to SQL Server 2008 Enterprise.
SQL Server 2008 Express. SQL Server 2008 Express is a free edition of SQL Server that features core database functionality including all of the new SQL Server 2008 data types, in a small footprint. This edition is ideal for learning and building desktop and small server applications, and for redistribution by ISVs.
SQL Server Compact 3.5. SQL Server Compact is a free embedded database designed for developers and is ideal for building stand-alone and occasionally connected applications for mobile devices, desktops and Web clients. SQL Server Compact runs on all Microsoft Windows platforms, including the Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems, and on Pocket PC and smartphone devices.
As Microsoft keeps its words about costing on deploying this product, in terms of licensing as per License_pressrelease information.
So whats the catch on the downloads, it is now available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers and will be available for evaluation download from Aug. 7, 2008. SQL Server 2008 Express and SQL Server Compact editions are available for free download now FromHere.