What’s new in SQL Server Code Name “Denali” CTP3

What’s new in SQL Server Code Name “Denali” CTP3

Be sure to check out the What’s New (SQL Server “Denali”) site for full details, but here are the highlights in this PUBLIC release (no TAP NDA material here!) are:

SQL Server Installation

  1. Installing Prerequisites During SQL Server Code-Named “Denali” Setup
    1. Windows PowerShell 2.0 is a prerequisite, but not installed by the SQL Server Setup wizard
    2. .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 is a requirement, but is not installed by the SQL Server Setup wizard, it  requires you to download and install manually
    3. .NET Framework 4 is a prerequisite and is installed as a part of the SQL Server Setup wizard
    4. Minimum OS configuration is now Windows 7 SP1 & Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
      1. check out the Hardware and Software Requirements for Installing SQL Server “Denali”
  2. You can now install Data Quality Services (DQS) using the SQL Server Setup wizard
  3. Product Update is a new setup feature which allows you to download the latest updates and apply them during install
  4. Server Core Installation is now supported
  5. SQL Server multi-subnet clustering makes it so that you can have failover nodes on different subnets
  6. Local Disk is now a supported storage option for tempdb for SQL Server failover cluster installations
  7. BUILTINadministrators and Local System (NT AUTHORITYSYSTEM) are not automatically provisioned in the sysadmin fixed server role
  8. Setup now offers default accounts for the SQL Server services whenever possible
  9. The Active Directory Helper service is no longer installed because it is no longer needed
  10. SQL Server Itanium editions are no longer supported

Database Engine (too much here to list all of the good ones, this is a MUST READ)

  1. AlwaysOn SQL Server Failover Cluster Instances
  2. AlwaysOn Availability Groups
  3. Indirect Checkpoints

Manageability Enhancements

  1. The Database Engine Query Editor introduces enhanced functionality for Transact-SQL debugging and IntelliSense.
  2. The Upgrade a Data-Tier Application wizard has been updated to perform an in-place upgrade, which replaces the side-by-side upgrade process
  3. Users import the sqlps module into PowerShell, and the module then loads the SQL Server snap-ins.
  4. The bcp Utility and sqlcmd Utility utilities now have the -K switch, which allows you to specify read-only access to a secondary replica in an AlwaysOn availability group.
  5. Database Engine Tuning Advisor Enhancements allow you to use the query plan cache to avoid having to create manual workloads from a script or trace.

Programmability Enhancements

  1. You can no longer use CREATE ENDPOINT or ALTER ENDPOINT to add or modify SOAP/HTTP endpoints
  2. The FileTable feature leverages FILESTREAM to allow files and documents to be stored in special tables and accessed using Windows applications, as though they were stored on the file system without making changes to the applications
  3. Semantic search builds upon the existing full-text search feature in SQL Server but enables new scenarios that extend beyond syntactical keyword searches
  4. Full Text Search now supports property-scoped searching on properties emitted by IFilters, Customizable NEAR option of the CONTAINS predicate or the CONTAINSTABLE function
  5. New Word Breakers and Stemmers (this one has a a bit baffled, I thought I was doing well understanding the Programmability stuff until I got to this one…)
  6. The EXECUTE statement can now specify the metadata returned from the statement by using the WITH RESULT SETS argument
  7. You can specify a range of rows returned by a SELECT statement based on row offset and row count values that you provide
  8. Three new sub-data types for geometry and geography data types can be used to store circular arc segments, CircularString,CompoundCurve, and CurvePolygon. (and my ITPro brain just imploded…)
  9. A sequence object is a user-defined schema-bound object that generates a sequence of numeric values according to the specification with which the sequence was created. It operates similar to an identity column, but sequence numbers are not restricted to use in a single table.
    • I know lots of Oracle DBAs who are excited by this one, personally I haven’t wrapped my head around  it completely yet…  Going to have to read more on Sequence Numbers
  10. The THROW statement can be used to raise an exception and transfer execution to a CATCH block of a TRY…CATCH construct
  11. 14 new functions:
  12. 1 changed function:
  13. New and Enhanced Query Optimizer Hints
  14. New XEvent Enhancements
  15. New Analytic Functions:

Scalability and Performance Enhancements

  1. New data warehouse query acceleration feature called columnstore indexes
  2. Indexes containing varchar(max), nvarchar(max), and varbinary(max) columns can now be rebuilt as an online operation
  3. 15k partitions are now supported by default instead of 1k

Security Enhancements

  1. User-defined server roles are now available.  This allows a role to be defined at the server level and grant or deny access across all databases
  2. You can now define a default schema for a Windows group
  3. Significant SQL Server Audit Enhancements
  4. Access to contained databases is permitted through contained database users which do not require logins
  5. The HASHBYTES function now supports the SHA2_256, and SHA2_512 algorithms
  6. The RC4 algorithm is only supported for backward compatibility
  7. The maximum length of private keys imported from an external source is expanded from 3,456 to 4,096 bits
  8. SMK and DMK encryption changes from 3DES to AES
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