By Iain Kick
In line with recent SQL Server releases, Microsoft on Nov. 9 announced at the PASS Summit that the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) version of SQL Server 11 - codenamed Denali (after the Alaska mountain also known as Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America) - is available for download and evaluation. This is our first opportunity to look at some of the features that will form the basis for the next major release of SQL Server, expected to be fully available in the second half of 2011.
The CTP program is an effective way to allow the community to preview the new functionality in SQL Server releases since the release criteria for CTP features are the same as those for a final release. Microsoft works with partners to develop features, and then releases them to the community for widespread testing and feedback. MVPs get earlier access, which helps facilitate dissemination of information out to the community at the time of release. SQL Server 2008 had six CTP releases, so, right now we are probably in the early stages for SQL Server 11. Microsoft refers to a CTP as a release candidate rather than a beta, so the quality is expected to be high but still allow for changes and fixes based on feedback.
Some of the cool features included in CTP1 include ... full article.