Microsoft released the near-final test build of its SQL Server 2012 product (codenamed "Denali") on November 17.
The Release Candidate (RC) 0 of SQL Server 2012 is available for download from Microsoft's Web site.
Microsoft has made some changes to the product since it delivered the previous release, Community Technology Preview (CTP) 3 this past summer. Among those modifications, according to company officials:
- Added core capabilities for increased mission critical confidence, including multiple secondaries in SQL Server AlwaysOn and multi-tenancy enhancements with Resource Governor.
- New functionality in the Power View ("Crescent") data-exploration and visualization tool, including the inclusion of Change Data Capture support for Oracle enables broader support for heterogeneous data with Data Warehouses.
- Snapshot backups in Windows Azure from inside Management Studio.
Microsoft is encouraging customers to download today’s RC to prepare for the final release. Microsoft officials declined to say whether there would be additional release candidate test builds distributed to customers before the product is released to manufacturing.
Microsoft execs have said SQL Server 2012 will "launch" in the early part of 2012. Earlier this month, Microsoft made available some pricing and SKU information about SQL Server 2012, including the fact that there will be a new BI (business intelligence) version offered.