DiscountASP.NET expands SQL 08 Beta

Windows-based hosting provider DiscountASP.NET has launched a free SQL Server 2008 hosting program available to all their customers.

Wednesday's announcement follows DiscountASP.NET's invite-only, SQL 2008 beta program earlier this month, enabling select customers to test Microsoft's SQL 2008 in a live, hosted environment and offer feedback.

"Under the SQL 2008 Go Live program, we are giving our customers a free SQL 2008 beta database account for testing purposes," says Takeshi Eto, VP Marketing at DiscountASP.NET, in the press release. "The beta program provides our customers with the opportunity to get a jumpstart in testing SQL 2008 in a live hosted environment before its official release."

Anticipated by Microsoft as "the most versatile and reliable Windows platform yet," Microsoft SQL Server 2008 is currently in Release Candidate 0 release up from the CTP-6 release from earlier this month. Microsoft Gold Certified partner DiscountASP.NET was one of the first hosts to offer Windows 2008 shared hosting.

DiscountASP.NET and other hosts helped test new developer features including new data types, such as date/time data types and geospatial data types as well as other next-generation data-centric applications. Other improvements include Language Integrated Query, integrated full text search, sparse columns, and large user-defined types.

DiscountASP.NET said it was the first company selected to offer DBManager and AdminPack IIS Manager user interface extensions. Launched along with Internet Information Server 7, the IIS Manager was designed to provide customers with a familiar interface to remotely manage IIS server configurations.

No date has been officially announced for the final release of SQL Server 2008, but it is expected in the third quarter of 2008.

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