Microsoft released Service Pack 2 (SP2) for SQL Server 2005 on Tuesday, a free upgrade available for download, in addition to new virtualization licensing for the database.Microsoft said it will allow unlimited virtual instances of the SQL Server SP2 database to run on servers that are fully licensed for SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition. Enterprises are exploring virtualization technology\u2014which allow multiple copies of an OS to run on one piece of hardware\u2014to reduce the number of physical servers and increase their utilization.The free upgrade for the company\u2019s popular database product also includes better interoperability with other vendors. One SQL Server 2005 feature, called Report Builder, can build customized reports drawn on data held in Oracle products and Hyperion Solutions\u2019 Essbase database, Microsoft said.SQL Server 2005 SP2 will be the only release of the database that Microsoft will support for its Windows Vista OS and upcoming Longhorn server, due for a final release in the second half of this year. Other features of SP2 include:\n\nAdd-ins for Office 2007 programs such as Excel and Visio\u2014a drawing and diagramming application\u2014will enable data mining using SQL Server Analysis Services, the database\u2019s online analytical processing component. \n\nSQL Server Reporting Services\u2014a tool for creating and managing reports\u2014is integrated with SharePoint, the company\u2019s portal building and document-sharing software.\n\nNew management tools include improved database maintenance, enhanced management reports and a new copy database wizard.Microsoft also announced new management reports for SQL Server Express Edition, the free version of the database, and SQL Compact Edition, an embedded database for mobile devices such as tablet PCs and smart phones.-Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service (London Bureau)Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.