November CTP of SQL Server 2008 R2 : Download now

For those of you that have been wanting to try out SQL Server 2008 R2, you can download the November CTP of Express here (posted yesterday) and the full version of the November CTP here.  This is version 10.50.1352.12.  The full version is an evaluation edition and will expire after 180 days.  I am not sure when the full version of the CTP was posted publicly; earlier this week, that privilege was restricted to MSDN / TechNet Plus subscribers (and TAP a.k.a. early adopter customers).

For the Express Edition, if you scroll down the page, you will see that you can also download the Express version of Management Studio (SSMSE) for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems, without having to download the entire engine and other services.  This was announced earlier today by @SQLAzure in a blog post.  In previous releases of Express, it wasn't always easy to find the Management Studio Express Edition downloads, and they often came later than the combined downloads (w/Tools or w/Advanced Services).  Most users ended up downloading one of those and then trying to install just the management tools.

For those of you who are unwilling to download any of these pre-release builds onto your machines, and who don't have virtual machines you can use for this purpose, you can get limited exposure to the new engine and some of its features by signing up at (you can read more about this program in a recent blog post by Jorge Segarra (@SQLChicken)).  Currently their front page advertises a lab for the August CTP (build 10.50.1092.20), but this could just be a lag in marketing materials.  So I'm not sure if they are currently offering the latest CTP build of R2, or if you will have to wait for that to become part of their offering.

Aaron Bertrand

I am a passionate technologist with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. I am a long-time Microsoft MVP, write at Simple Talk, SQLPerformance, and MSSQLTips, and have had the honor of speaking at more conferences than I can remember. In non-tech life, I am a father of two, a huge hockey and football fan, and my pronouns are he/him. If I've helped you out, consider thanking me with a coffee. :-)

2 Responses

  1. AaronBertrand says:

    Yeah, it's too bad, they put out a great service but the lag is not very good for the go-getters.  If I remember right, during the 2008 beta, they were always at least one CTP behind, sometimes two.  With the price of disk space these days, and the ease of VM configuration, I think the "early adopter" types will be better off just building an environment themselves.  Whereas those who are patient can get a lot out of the offering.

  2. Jorge Segarra says:

    Thanks for the mention! As far as SQLServerbeta they're going to eventually offer the latest R2 editions but it takes them some time to convert the VMs and get everything up and running.