Today we released our next public CTP of Microsoft SQL Server Code Name “Denali.” This milestone is super exciting because it is packed with amazing Business Intelligence (BI) improvements and innovations for relational databases as well as for BI solutions. You can find the Denali CTP Evaluation edition at the Microsoft.com Download Center. Try it for yourself.
SQL Server “Denali” builds on what we started with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. On the relational database side, Project “Apollo” leverages the VertiPaq technology we first introduced in SQL Server 2008R2 for blazing-fast query performance. On the BI side, Denali complements self-service analysis with self-service reporting through PowerPivot and Project “Crescent”, as well as self-service alerting with SSRS in SharePoint integrated mode. It provides the foundation to the cloud-ready information platform and will help customers unlock breakthrough insights across the organization and quickly build solutions that extend data across on-premises and public/private clouds backed by exciting new capabilities for greater mission critical confidence. Moreover, it brings our traditional and new data models together in an all-encompassing Business Intelligence Semantic Model (BISM), which is a significant step forward on our Vision for Analysis Services (see Analysis Services – Vision & Roadmap Update). It gives our customers a flexible platform that can meet the performance and scalability demands of some of the world’s largest BI implementations. It delivers advanced capabilities based on sophisticated business logic. And, it comes with a broad choice of professional developer and business-user tools that are easy to use.
There are many new features that you can put to use. PowerPivot “Denali” supports hierarchies, multiple relationships between tables, a measure grid to easily create, edit, and manage measures and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), new DAX functions (Time series, distinct count to name a few), and importing of binary large objects (BLOB). All of these features—and many more—are also available on the server in tabular Analysis Services databases, including row-level security, partitions and DirectQuery mode, enabling you to access the information directly from the source system. Substantial improvements can also be found in our SharePoint components. Among other things, we separated setup and configuration tasks, so it’s easy to install and uninstall, configure and re-apply configuration settings.
Here are some important installation prerequisites:
- SQL Server “Denali” PowerPivot for Excel Install Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO) 4.0 runtime and .NET Framework 4.0 before you install PowerPivot. You can find the Denali version of PowerPivot for Excel in the Microsoft.com Download Center at http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26721 and the VSTO runtime at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=06C32242-2289-4471-93AA-CE96AA5CBC36&displaylang=en.
- SQL Server “Denali” PowerPivot for SharePoint Install Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) available at the Microsoft.com Download Center at http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26623. You must fully patch the SharePoint farm before you add SQL Server “Denali” features. No separate PowerPivot download required because PowerPivot for SharePoint is directly included in SQL Server Code Name “Denali.”
- SQL Server “Denali” Analysis Services Install .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 as well as .NET Framework 4.0 and Windows PowerShell 2.0. You also need an update for the .NET 3.5 SP1:
For additional information and known issues, check out the Release Notes for Microsoft PowerPivot Code Name “Denali” CTP3 and Microsoft SQL Server Code Name “Denali” CTP3. The following links might also be helpful:
- Microsoft SQL Server: The Data and BI Platform for Today and Tomorrow Quentin Clark on vision, strategy and roadmap for SQL Server products and technologies.
- What’s New in Microsoft SQL Server Code-Named “Denali” for SQL Server Analysis Services and PowerPivot T.K. and Ashvini bringing you up to speed on our breakthrough BI innovations and technologies in Analysis Services and PowerPivot for the “Denali” release.
- Abundantly “Crescent”: Demos Galore Sean Boon, Carolyn Chau, and Sabrena McBride demonstrating what’s possible with our new self-service reporting technology.
- Deploying and Managing Microsoft SQL Server PowerPivot for SharePoint Dave and Dana giving you a head start with your PowerPivot “Denali” deployment in SharePoint 2010 SP1.
- Enriching Your BI Semantic Models Using Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) Ashvini and Kasper presenting the new DAX features and capabilities coming in “Denali” and discussing key concepts in DAX, how to add calculated columns and measure to your model, and so forth.
And, of course, stay tuned for more info on Denali features on this blog as well as on the Reporting Services team blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/sqlrsteamblog/.