Announcing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Release Candidate 0 (RC0)

Today, we’ve reached the next big milestone on the road to unlocking breakthrough insights across organizations with a cloud-ready information platform—we released Microsoft SQL Server 2012 RC0! You can find the installation media at the Download Center.  When you try it, don’t forget to also download the corresponding Microsoft SQL Server 2012 PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel 2010 Release Candidate 0 (RC0).

There are many highlights and stunning BI features in SQL Server 2012. If you evaluated the previous SQL Server 2012 Community Technology Preview 3 (CTP3), you might already know that PowerPivot now 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. All of these features are also in RC0. Moreover, Project “Crescent”—now called Power View—provides even more features than in CTP3 to create engaging visual experiences that are presentation ready at all times. Try it for yourself and perhaps also check out the SQL Server 2012 Customer Testimonials to see what others are saying about their SQL Server 2012 experience and the features they’re most excited about.

Installation prerequisites at a glance:

For additional information and known issues, check out the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 RC0 Release Notes and the PowerPivot for Excel Online Help. You can access additional articles, blogs, and other community content on the PowerPivot TechNet page. And, of course, you can also find more info on PowerPivot and Analysis Services features on this blog as well as on the Reporting Services team blog at