Microsoft VP Ted Kummert made two announcements today at the SQL PASS Summit 2008 in Seattle.
The first publically available CTP of SQL Server Data Services is available for download today. Previously, there was a limited CTP for developer attendees of the PDC in October of this year.
Kummert also announced the investment in Application and Multi-Server Management. Tiffany Wissner, a Microsoft Program Manager, explained that this is an extension of policy-based management in SQL Server 2008 designed to make managing multiple SQL Server instances easier.
This should facilitate more collaboration between developers and IT Pros and DBAs. Developers would capture deployment information about the applications they're developing in a structured way. This is a new application model Microsoft is calling a DAC--Data Tier Application Component. Developers will be able to wrap schema components and other information in a "manifest" of deployment requirements that they can pass along to a DBA.
Wisser said that this provides a centralized way to manage resources. By leveraging the capabilities of multi-server management with the deployable package it should become easier to manage a fabric of SQL Servers through policy resource utilization.
For more on SQL Server Data Services see