5 things we love about SQL Server 2008 R2 Logan Harbaugh July 12, 2010 Network World US Share Twitter Facebook LinkedIn 1. Microsoft's SQL Server 2008 R2 is tightly integrated with other Microsoft applications like SharePoint and Office to allow users to access database applications via familiar interfaces like Excel. 2. Master Data Services is a new and powerful feature designed to help an organisation create a structure and hierarchy for data, so that data collected and used across multiple departments, silos and databases is standardised and aligned. This ensures that different databases are interoperable. 3. PowerPivot allows end users to import, manipulate, analyse and export data, as well as create reports, all using the familiar Excel interface and language. 4. Management Studio is the primary management interface for configuring, managing, and administering all components within Microsoft SQL Server. It includes both script editors and graphical tools. 5. Report Builder 3.0 offers beefed up features that allow power users to create reports that combine business information with maps. 6. The start menu allows administrators to control a variety of Microsoft applications from one screen, including SharePoint, SQL Server, Office and Visual Studio.