Third test build of Microsoft's SQL Server 'Denali' expected this week

Summary:Microsoft is expected to deliver the third Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the next version of its SQL Server database during the Worldwide Partner Conference the week of July 11, according to some of my contacts.

Microsoft is expected to deliver the third Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the next version of its SQL Server database during the Worldwide Partner Conference the week of July 11, according to some of my contacts.

Microsoft rolled out the first CTP of the next SQL Server -- codenamed "Denali" -- in the fall of 2010. The company released a private CTP earlier this year. At the Microsoft TechEd conference in May, Microsoft execs said a third Denali CTP would be out some time this summer. On July 8, the Microsoft @SQLServer account on Twitter hinted that the next CTP was imminent:

Microsoft has not yet announced what will be in CTP3, but according to a Q&A on TechTarget with a Microsoft exec,  the first Denali tech previews didn't include "some of the more anticipated functionality in (high-availability data recovery) HADR" and some of the promised business-intelligence capabilities in the coming release.

There are four sessions on Denali this week at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles and more on SQL Server and business-intelligence, in general.

Microsoft execs are attempting to position SQL Server and Denali in particular as an "information platform," more than just a database. As such, it will have the ability to handle structured data, instructured data, XML and more, plus include services like analytics and reporting to help interpret the data.

The Softies have said Denali will include the following capabilities:

  • 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 company execs
  • 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 technology that is part of SQL Server 2008 R2
  • SQL Server Data Quality Services (based on technology from Microsoft’s 2008 Zoomix acquisition)
  • Other data integration and management tools

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 have said.

Microsoft officials have declined to provide a ship target for Denali, but it is widely believed that it will be released either late this year or some time in 2012. (Given there's still been no beta at this point, I'm thinking next year is looking like a more likely target.)

I've asked Microsoft SQL Server officials for comment/confirmation on Denali CTP 3 but haven't heard back so far.

Anyone testing Denali (or not) have anything in particular on your wish list for the next SQL Server release?

More from the Microsoft Partner Conference:

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Microsoft: 400 million Windows 7 and 100 million Office 2010 licenses sold

Microsoft: In a year, Windows Phone has gone from very small to ... very small

Microsoft makes it official: New beta of Windows Intune 2.0 available

What's on Steve Ballmer's Microsoft priority list now?

Microsoft to deliver Surface 2.0 software developer kit on July 12

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Topics: Enterprise Software, Data Centers, Data Management, Microsoft, Servers


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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