Next-generation SQL Server

Microsoft delivers first test build of next-generation SQL Server ‘Denali’

Microsoft is making available for download on November 9 the first test version of its next-generation SQL Server release, code-named “Denali.”

The company announced the availability of the Community Technology Preview (CTP) build — available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers today — at the PASS (Professional Association for SQL Server) Summit in Seattle. The first Denali CTP is slated to be available at 11:45 a.m. ET on November 9, Microsoft officials said.

Microsoft said in February that its next release of SQL Server would be codenamed Denali, but declined to say anything more about the release at that time. Now the Softies are sharing more. Here’s a list of some of what is on tap to be included in Denali:

  • SQL Server AlwaysOn, a new high-availability “solution that will deliver “increased application availability, lower TCO (total cost of ownership)  and ease of use, according to the Softies
  • Project codename “Apollo”, new column-store database technology aiming to provide greater query performance
  • Project codename “Juneau”, a single development environment for developing database, business intelligence (BI) and web solutions
  • Project codename “Crescent”, a web-based, data visualization and presentation solution, and follow-on to the PowerPivot technologythat is part of SQL Server 2008 R2
  • SQL Server Data Quality Services (based on technology fromMicrosoft’s 2008 Zoomix acquisition)

Like the SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 releases, Denali will be focused on providing users with more high-availability, self-service and BI functionality, officials said.

SQL Server isn’t just a database, but an entire “information platform,” said Ted Kummert, Senior Vice President of Microsoft’s Business Platforms Division. Information platform implies the ability to handle structured data, unstructured data, XML and more, as well as offering customers tools and services like analytics and reporting to interpret this data.

Going forward, the SQL Server team will be focusing on three things, Kummert said: Incorporating more mission-critical features into the platform (on the data warehousing side and beyond); making BI available for every end user; and insuring that the platform continues to evolve as a cloud service.

It seems Q3 2011 may be the availability date for this unique upgrade.

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