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InfoQ Homepage News 'Denali' No More: SQL Server 2012 Announced, Focuses on BI and Big Data

'Denali' No More: SQL Server 2012 Announced, Focuses on BI and Big Data

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At the recent PASS Summit, Microsoft announced that the next version of SQL Server, formerly known by the codename "Denali," will be called SQL Server 2012. Other products were granted official names as well, including Power View (formerly "Crescent") and SQL Server Data Tools (formerly "Juneau").

The most recent version of the SQL Server 2012 community technology preview was released in July as CTP 3. Microsoft said that they’re nearing completion of the project, and expect to release the production version in the first half of next year, though no date has been set.

In the announcement, Microsoft focused on their commitment to big data and expanding SQL Server’s business intelligence offerings. The company has partnered with Hortonworks to work on integrating the open-source Apache Hadoop for big data processing capabilities. As Eric Baldeschwieler, Hortonworks CEO stated:

Over 80 percent of new data being generated is from unstructured sources. We are excited to work with Microsoft to help make Apache Hadoop a compelling platform for storing and processing data.

Hadoop is ideal for storing large volumes of loosely structured data that don’t tend to work well in a relational database system—for example, email, documents, web search results, and social network feeds. Microsoft plans to offer an Azure-based Hadoop service by the end of 2011, and a Windows-based distribution sometime in 2012. (The Hadoop Connectors for SQL Server 2008 R2 were released earlier this month.)

On the BI front, Microsoft demonstrated the new "touch" capabilities for Power View, the browser-based reporting tool for visual data exploration. The new functionality allows users to drill down in their reports, and this version will be supported on multiple mobile devices, including those running iOS. This release is slated to be available by the end of 2012.

Microsoft also introduced a new code name to the series of SQL Server 2012 offerings. "Data Explorer" is a tool that allows users to access and analyze data in the Windows Azure Data Marketplace. Not much more information is available about Data Explorer, though Engadget has a video of the demo at the PASS Summit. The Data Explorer CTP will be available from the SQL Azure Labs.

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