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Next SQL Server Reaches CTP Stage

Improvements coming to Web-based data viewing, high availability and query performance.

Microsoft has opened up the first community technology preview (CTP) of the next version of SQL Server, which is code-named "Denali."

Microsoft very briefly described a few of Denali's new features in an announcement last month. One of those features is called "Crescent," which is the code name for an interactive, Web-based method of viewing data. "AlwaysOn" is designed to enable high availability for SQL Server. There's also a column-store technology, code-named "Apollo," designed to boost the performance of queries.

Database and application developers will have a tool in Visual Studio, code-named "Juneau," that supports both SQL Server and SQL Azure. Finally, Microsoft announced "data quality services" to work with Denali that provide tools to "profile, cleanse, match and merge data."

"[Crescent] effectively works to take data from a data warehouse and turn it into information that a typical knowledge worker can quickly and easily work with," says Wes Miller, a Directions on Microsoft analyst. "In many ways, it's the next step for PowerPivot after enabling Excel power users -- an important segment, but still just a fraction of the knowledge-worker space."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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