SQL Server 2012 (“Denali”): CTP3 now available!

CTP3 of SQL Server Code 2012, 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 and the Community Technology Preview 3 (CTP 3) Product Guide.

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 http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/data/tools.aspx.  See Aaron Bertrand install notes.

See CTP3 Books Online (read how help is no longer delivered with the software).  CTP3 also includes tutorials and samplesProject 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): https://connect.microsoft.com/sqlserver/feedback.  Also find lots of help on twitter with the hashtag #SQLDenali.

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 Adoption Program” (abbreviated TAP) which has allowed the lucky few to obtain CTP1 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 and Product Update Frequently Asked Questions and My Denali First Glance – Product Update Feature.

And the sample AW databases have been updated: Adventure Works for SQL Server Denali CTP3.

Important SSAS note: During installation, when you are on the “Analysis Services Configuration” screen, you are given a choice of which server mode to use: “Multidimensional and Data Mining Mode” or “Tabular Mode”.  You can’t install both on one instance.  This means if you want to use both, you will need to install two instances of SSAS.  To do that, you need to run the setup again after the first instance setup (you cannot install two instances in the same setup).

Denali also introduces a new version of SQL Express called SQL Express LocalDB.

Check out a new tool in CTP3 called “Recovery Advisor”.  Recovery Advisor helps DBAs in creating a correct and optimal restore sequence.  More info at Recovery Advisor: An Introduction.

Nice post on the Top 10 BI Reasons to Upgrade to SQL Server ‘Denali’ (SQL11) and the Top 10: New Features in SQL Server 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”: Details on the next version of SSIS

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

SQL Server “Denali”: Project Crescent

SQL Server “Denali”: Installing SSAS Multidimensional vs Tabular Mode

SQL Server “Denali”: New Certifications

SQL Server “Denali”

About James Serra

James is a big data and data warehousing solution architect at Microsoft. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 25 years of IT experience.
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