How many of you have heard that the Community Technology Preview (CTP1) for the next version of SQL Server is out? Well, now all of you have. You can download and play with the Denali preview here.
Now, if you’re patting yourself on the back for already having heard the news, lemme ask you this: have you looked at the BOL for Denali yet? Now, don’t be that way…blogs and announcements are great, but shouldn’t we take a quick look at the product documentation to get the whole picture of what’s new? Let’s, shall we… (This is a quick glance, not a comprehensive overview).
Installation: Hm, looks like PowerShell isn’t installed by SQL Server setup as of this version, but it’s a prerequisite…bummer. I thought the PowerShell install was awfully handy in SQL 08.
Database Engine: HADR is new, of course. Brent Ozar is enthusiastic, Sean McCown is wary. SSMS has some enhancements to the debugger, and intellisense (including snippets!) Contained databases sure sound interesting – you’ll be able to define a DB as “contained”, so if you move it to another instance it doesn’t break (because of orphaned logins, broken linked servers, etc).
Under programmability, we have full text (doesn’t impact me yet), something about EXECUTE metadata (I’ll be interested in hearing more on that)…hmm, and ORDER BY gets some new functionality, in the form of OFFSET and FETCH. You can now use ORDER BY to “limit the rows returned to a specified range.” I say again, hmmm…
There are a few Security changes, too: New permissions, user defined server roles, etc…and contained databases are listed again.
Information Services: In the day 2 keynote at the 2010 PASS Summit (see my live blog, keynote recording), one of the biggest positive reactions was to a Don Box’s demo of Denali SSIS: he deleted a couple of package elements, and then was able to undo it with CTRL-Z. A lot of people cheered, a few people sneered, but I’m with the Pro crowd: it’s often the little things that really make or break a product. BOL points us to Integration Services usability enhancements on the Microsoft TechNet Wiki for more on this and other SSIS awesomesauce.
I’ll skip right over deployment and administration, and point you to Object Impact and Data Lineage Analysis – in short, you can access and view broad-ranging dependencies for SSIS and SQL objects via Object Explorer in SSMS.
This section also mentions the new “Data Correction transformation”, but has no real info on it yet. Sounds interesting.
There’s a ton more enhancements to read about out there, but these are just the changes available in the CTP1 release. So: Get, Play, Read!