OK, I have been waiting for the next CTP release of SQL Server Code Name “Denali” for a bit now and as far as I was able to follow the news I would have expected to see CTP2 instead of CTP3. However, two days ago Microsoft release to the public CTP3 which can be downloaded here (the link is valid as of July 2011).
According to the official communication the CTP3 includes huge number of new capabilities and a lot more functionalities that users can see and test.
“Product highlights for this CTP include:
- Greater availability. Deliver the required 9s and data protection you need with AlwaysOn which delivers added functionality over CTP1.
- Blazing-fast performance. Get unprecedented performance gains with Project “Apollo,” a new column store index that offers 10-100x star join or similar query performance improvements available for the first customer preview.
Breakthrough insight. Unlock new insights with rapid data exploration across your organization with Project “Crescent,” available to customers for the first time. Get your hands on the data exploration and visualization tool that everyone is talking about and enables end users to explore data at the speed of thought.
- Credible, consistent data. Provide a consistent view across heterogeneous data sources with the BI Semantic Model (BISM) a single model for Business Intelligence applications, from reporting and analysis to dashboards and scorecards. Make data quality a part of everyday life with the Master Data Services add-in for Excel and new Data Quality Services that is integrated with third party data providers through Windows Azure Marketplace. Customers can test this functionality for the first time and put data management and cleansing tools in the hands of those who need it. Available integrated Marketplace providers include:
- Cdyne: CDYNE Phone Verification will validate the first 7 digits of your phone number(s) and return what carrier the phone number id is assigned to, whether it is a cellular number or a land line, the telco, and additional information including time zone, area code and email address if it is a cellular number
- Digital Trowel: Powerlinx allows users to send data for refinement and enhancement and receive back cleansed and enriched data. The database contains 10 million company website addresses, 25 million detailed company profiles, and 25 million executives, including 5 million in-depth profiles with email addresses and phone numbers.
- Loqate: The Loqate Verify enables users to parse, standardize, verify, cleanse, transliterate, and format address data for 240+ world countries.
- Loqate: The Geocode enables a latitude-longitude coordinate to be added to any world address with worldwide coverage to city or postal code for over 120 countries
- Melissa Data: WebSmart Address Check parses, standardizes, corrects and enriches U.S. and Canadian addresses to increase deliverables, reduce wasted postage and printing, and enhance response
- Productive development experience. Optimize IT and developer productivity across server and cloud with Data-tier Application Component (DAC) parity with SQL Azure and SQL Server Developer Tools code name “Juneau” for a unified and modern development experience across database, BI, and cloud functions. Additionally, Express customers can test a new LocalDB version for fast, zero-configuration installation.
Today, you have the chance to preview and test these marquee capabilities and the upgrade or migration experience. CTP3 is a production quality release that includes access to upgrade and migration tools like Upgrade Advisor, Distributed Replay and SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA). Upgrade Advisor and Distributed Replay allow you to perform thorough analysis and testing of your current SQL Server applications before upgrading so you know what to expect. You can also use SSMA to automate migrate non-SQL Server databases to SQL Server Code Name “Denali”. For more detailed information about the new SQL Server Migration Assistant v5.1, visit the SSMA team blog.”
You can download and test yourself. I hope you enjoy it!