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Dancing with Denali - CTP3, Product Guide, and More....

Have you ever danced with Denali in the Pale Moonlight?  (Ok, I changed that famous quote from the original Batman movie :-)

As most in the SQL community are already aware, Microsoft has recently released to the public the Community Technology Preview 3 (CTP3) for the next version of SQL Server, code-named Denali. Back in July, 11, 2011, (7/11 lucky numbers?) the SQL Server Team announced this (along with the release of SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1) on their official team blog:   See Denali CTP3 Is Here!

Will Microsoft fulfull it's goal, and will it be called SQL Server 11?  Many are wondering, after a long road from SQL 2008 R2, when will SQL Server v.Xx finally be released?  Well, keep wondering :-)  In absence of any clear, official answers, speculation abounds and fills our nagging void for information.

While I don't have any secret inside information to share (couldn't even if I did :-), there have been some public hints dropped here and there that we're indeed getting closer.  According to the SQL Server team on Facebook - yes, they are projecting a friendly social media presence there - the CTP is 90% feature complete!  Perhaps a strange place for official news announcements from the likes of Microsoft, but it was indeed confirmed it's really them.

You can see this post on SQLServerTeamOnFacebook.  The leading quote, "DID YOU KNOW? SQL Server Code Name "Denali" CTP3 is 90% feature complete and a production quality release!"  Maybe it's just a tease, and well what about the other 10% of features?  Some of the community's leading SQL experts chimed in with some funny comments.

I would keep eyes on the upcoming 2011 PASS Summit this fall, which is the the largest SQL Server and BI conference in the world.  Usually, a key venue for making big announcements.  At PASS you will meet and learn from the top industry experts in the world. There you will get hands-on training along with face-to-face answers and advice from community experts, MVPs, and Microsoft CSS and SQLCAT experts. I'm sure that there will be many cool presentations, product demos, and talks about SQL Server Denali!

Anyway, that's the latest gossip about Denali, and since its public, thought I'd share that.  I also want to share some valuable resources on getting your hands on the latest Denali release (CTP3), all about the product, and some help on installing and testing.  Keep reading for value links to Denali CTP3.

So, what does Denali have to offer?  The answer, quite a lot!  According to the SQL Server General Manager, Eugene Saburi, commenting on Denali, “The new SQL Server delivers database solutions across server, private or public cloud, allowing organizations to break free from tradition and seamlessly build, move, or span applications to best meet their needs"  The tag line is "The new SQL Server for your evolving technology needs...."

There are some great new features coming up, such as Column Store for accelerated query performance, AlwaysOn for High Availability, and Contained Databases making it easy to move databases between different instances of SQL Server. These are my TOP 3 new features, that I will be exploring and blogging on in the near future.  But, there are more!  For a full in-depth look at the new SQL Server Denali feature-set, you can download the SQL Server Code Name "Denali" What's New Whitepaper.  If you also click on the separate links above, I have included some MS and TechNet data on these aforementioned individual features.

In addition, on August 10, 2011, the SQL Server Team also announced the release of the all-encompassing “Denali” Community Technology Preview 3 (CTP3) Product Guide, available for download.  It is quite comprehensive! Please note, it requires Silverlight to be installed as well.

As stated by SST, "This product guide release represents a significant milestone for customers and partners who want to experience the extensive new value delivered by SQL Server Code Name 'Denali.'

As the foundation of the cloud-ready information platform, SQL Server Code Name 'Denali' can help organizations unlock breakthrough insights across the organization as well quickly build solutions and extend data on-premises and across public clouds, backed by mission-critical confidence.
The SQL Server Code Name “Denali” CTP3 Product Guide includes useful resources and demos that will help you in your evaluation of CTP3." 

Included in the product guide is:

  • 14 Product Datasheets
  • 8 PowerPoint Presentations
  • 5 Technical White Papers
  • 13 Hands-On Lab Preview Documents
  • 6 Click-Through Demonstrations
  • 13 Self-Running Demonstrations
  • 26 Links to On-Line References
  • 44 Links to On-Line Videos including 26 Presentations from North America TechEd 2011

The Product Guide comes with a small application to help you navigate through the content. Once you download the ZIP file, your will want to extract all of the files to your local hard drive. To start the viewer, click in the STARTHERE.CMD file. The view works with IE8 and IE9. If you are using an alternative default browser, a simpler HTML version of the viewer will be launched.

OK, so how can I get all this?  Please see the links and references below, to start your new adventure with Denali!  Did I also mention that there is a new "AdventureWorks" database that has been updated for this version :-)

Download Links -->

Download CTP 3 ................You can specify 32-bit or 64-bit, or just download the ISO Download DVD ISO Image as a 3.95GB .ISO file.

Download the CTP 3 Product Guide .............. The Product Guide organizes the content for easier viewing.

Download the CTP 3 Product Overview .......... Mostly marketing material, but gives a good summary overview of the product.

Download the "What's New in Denali" Whitepaper................. In-depth details on the new SQL Server Denali feature-set.

Step-by-step Denali CTP3 Installation Help .............................. Great installation help from the folks at SQLServerGeeks.com

I hope the above information has been helpful!  Indeed we are entering exciting times in the SQL Server Universe.  For the latest news and updates, you can follow the SQL Server Team on its official blog, facebook and twitter.  The official twitter hashtag is #sqldenali.

And of course, you can follow me here and on Twitter|Pearlknows.  Feel free to visit our website as well, for our products and services http://www.pearlknows.com




Posted by skynet_si on 28 August 2011

well, denali works in trial mode for 180 days and then 'lights out' ! Very little time to experiment with it ...

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