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James is currently a Senior Business Intelligence Architect/Developer and has over 20 years of IT experience. James started his career as a software developer, then became a DBA 12 years ago, and for the last five years he has been working extensively with Business Intelligence using the SQL Server BI stack (SSAS, SSRS, and SSIS). James has been at times a permanent employee, consultant, contractor, and owner of his own business. All these experiences along with continuous learning has helped James to develop many successful data warehouse and BI projects. James has earned the MCITP Business Developer 2008, MCITP Database Administrator 2008, and MCITP Database Developer 2008, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering. His blog is at .

SQL Server “Denali”: CTP3 now available!

CTP3 of SQL Server Code Name “Denali” was made available for download this morning. You can download the 32-bit and 64-bit versions here. Official announcement from the SQL Server team blog and the announcement from the Analysis Services and PowerPivot Team Blog. Note that there was not a publically available CTP2. Microsoft went from CTP1 last November to CTP3.

Aaron Bertrand has some install notes and a Installation Walk-Through. Check out the official Microsoft CTP3 release notes.

The Feature Pack for CTP3 can be download here (note the special version of PowerPivot for CTP3). The new version of PowerPivot is 2.0 and Rob Collie has a post about some new features.

The new Project Juneau features are not on the Denali CTP3 “DVD”/Download, but are in a separate web release at

See CTP3 Books Online (read how help is no longer delivered with the software). CTP3 also includes tutorials. Project Crescent is also included in CTP3. See the Project Crescent Overview.

Jamie Thomson has a post about the SSIS enhancements in Denali CTP3, and Microsoft’s Wiki lists What’s New in Master Data Services (MDS) in Denali CTP3.

For technical questions about CTP3, go to the MSDN SQL Server (Pre-release) Forums. The link for feedback specifically for SQL Server (including Denali):

Also check out Brent Ozar’s CTP3 is Here! Five Things to Know About the Next Version of SQL Server and How to Set Up SQL Server Denali Availability Groups (Brent obviously has been using CTP3 for a while..lucky guy!).

Mark Tabladillo’s post SQL Server Denali CTP3 and Data Mining has installation tips and explains that Microsoft has a “Technology Access Preview” (abbreviated TAP) which allows the lucky few to obtain CTP3 before the public (as well as CTP2 which was not released to the public).

There is a cool new feature in CTP3 called “Product Update”: It integrates the latest product updates with the main product installation so that the main product and its applicable updates are installed at the same time. See Product Update” in SQL Server code-named “Denali.

For more details on Denali, check out my other blog posts:

SQL Server “Denali”: Details on the next version of SSAS

SQL Server “Denali”: SQL Server Developer Tools, codename ‘Juneau”

SQL Server “Denali”: Project Crescent

SQL Server “Denali”


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