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SQL Server Denali CTP Available to PASS Attendees

You might be one of the lucky ones that can find out today what features and functionality made it in the next version of SQL Server. The first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2012 (formerly  code-named “Denali”), is available to PASS attendees, MSDN, and TechNet subscribers during PASS Summit 2010. SQL Server Magazine spoke with Ted Kummert, senior vice president of Microsoft’s Business Platform Division, to get details on some of the new capabilities available in the Denali CTP. The following are the main new features or enhancements:

  • High availability and disaster recovery made easy—SQL Server currently offers solutions for mirroring, clustering, and log shipping. In Denali, “One of the things we’re doing is delivering one infrastructure built on Windows clustering that delivers the characteristics of all three,” says Kummert. “We’ve really focused as well on the manageability of that—making best-in-class HA and really focusing on trying to make it simpler for our customers.”
  • VertiPac available behind SSAS and data warehousing—Underneath PowerPivot is a very powerful column-oriented, in-memory storage engine called VertiPac. In Denali, VertiPac will be available to other workloads in SQL Server. “It’s going to provide for very high scale and compression in terms of storage, and it’s going to provide for amazing performance; that’s in Analysis Services and that’s also in data warehousing,” says Kummert.
  • Enabling pervasive insight with business intelligence—There are two big areas of BI investment in Denali’s infrastructure: bringing data together and integrating it, and ensuring that it’s quality data. “A lot of that work lands in SQL Server Integration Services,” says Kummert. “This is the biggest release of SQL Server Integration Services since SQL Server 2005. We’ve invested in a server environment for SQL Server Integration Services. This is going to make it easier to deploy and manage those applications. We’ve invested in services to cleanse and provide for quality data. We’ve got Master Data Services today; we’re adding Data Quality Services, this unique knowledge-based approach, which runs within SSIS and also runs standalone. And we’re also delivering some capabilities toward what’s called ‘impact analysis and lineage.’” Impact analysis shows you what depends on your data downstream, and lineage shows you where the data came from and what all the systems are behind it.
  • Project Crescent—Denali offers a set of capabilities to help you build and project a story about your data. “Data has a story to tell you about your business,” says Kummert. Project Crescent provides a web-based reporting experience that offers rich visualization to let you project the story about your data to end users and other business users.
  • Investment in tools for developers—Denali will provide a toolset to enable developers to a lower time to solution by bringing features from the Visual Studio Professional Developer environment into SQL Server so that no matter what you’re building (e.g., business intelligence projects, database projects) it’s all the same experience.

Following the release of SQL Server 2008 R2, some of our SQL Server Magazine authors began to list what they would like to see in the next version of SQL Server. Check out “Itzik Ben-Gan Highlights T-SQL Features He'd Like to See in SQL Server vNext”  and see if Itzik lists some of the same features you’d like to see in Denali.

For more information about the future of SQL Server, check out the following SQL Server Magazine articles:

The Future of SQL Server: Ted Kummert Looks Ahead 

Tom Casey on Microsoft’s BI Strategy
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