Denali, the next release [SQL Server]

After a week at the Pass Summit United 2010 and after catching up at work with several tasks, I am now able to update my blog with some exciting information. SQL Server codename “Denali” CTP1 was released formally on 11/09/2010 (version 11.0). I was able to obtain a DVD copy while at the summit, and now it can be downloaded too.

The key takeaways:

  1. AlwaysON. This is a full blown HADR solution that allows multiple asynchronous and synchronous
    SQL Server Codename "Denali" Community Technology Preview 1

    SQL Server "Denali" CTP1

    mirrors of a database with transparent fail over option to a local and remote datacenter. This is a feature I am really looking forward to.

  2. VeritPaq embedded in the relational engine. The SQL Server engineers ported the same code used for PowerPivot into the RDBMS. The feature will allow column-level ultra-high compression of repetitive data which will dramatically increase query efficiency by ten times at least.
  3. BISM with DAX support. Business Intelligence Semantic Model in Analysis Services which will allow retrieval of data using DAX queries; the same ones used in PowerPivot.
  4. Sequencer generator. It is never too late for a feature like this.
  5. Enhanced Windowed Functions.
  6. File Table Support. I have been waiting this feature since the Oracle 9i days. It will allow us to manage files directly within SQL Server.

There are certainly more enhancements which will continue to pop-up as the product matures.

Now, it is a challenge for us to learn and prepare for the new features after just upgrading to 2008 R2. Well, Microsoft is doing a pretty good job by keeping us busy and I am OK with that. They were kindly enough to publish Books Online for Denali though.