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I found a new title called SQL Server "Denali" in the drop down list on MSDN, but I didn't find much information about it:

Does anyone have more detailed information about new features or significant bug fixes in this release? I'm hoping someone has used or tested it.

New Features

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Aaron also posted a great list here. –  Nick Chammas Mar 13 '12 at 20:34

6 Answers 6

up vote 11 down vote accepted

The new features include :

  • Multi-Subnet Failover Clustering
  • Programming Enhancements including sequences, ad-hoc query paging and full-text search tweaks
  • BI and Web Development Environment Improvements
  • Web-based Visualization
  • Data Quality Services enhanced

You can view the detailed review here : New Features Of Denali

"Denali" is a code name. Here is the list of the code name of other versions of SQL Server:

  • 1993 – SQL Server 4.21 for Windows NT
  • 1995 – SQL Server 6.0, codenamed SQL95
  • 1996 – SQL Server 6.5, codenamed Hydra
  • 1999 – SQL Server 7.0, codenamed Sphinx
  • 1999 – SQL Server 7.0 OLAP, codenamed Plato
  • 2000 – SQL Server 2000 32-bit, codenamed Shiloh (version 8.0)
  • 2003 – SQL Server 2000 64-bit, codenamed Liberty
  • 2005 – SQL Server 2005, codenamed Yukon (version 9.0)
  • 2008 – SQL Server 2008, codenamed Katmai (version 10.0)
  • 2010 – SQL Server 2008 R2, Codenamed Kilimanjaro (aka KJ)
  • 2011 – SQL Server 2012, Codenamed Denali
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+1 like oracle's sequences :) –  garik Jan 8 '11 at 18:08
    
@vettipayyan : semma username:) –  Ashwin Dec 3 '12 at 15:13

AlwaysOn High Availability and Disaster Recovery

If you're interested in the extra disaster recovery stuff that is included with Denali, there was a useful series of articles on Microsoft's CSS blog:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/psssql/archive/tags/alwayson/

Additional resources:

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Personally, I am really excited about the AlwaysOn Availability Groups. On paper, it will make Database Mirroring on interrelated databases much less of a pain. –  Matt M Oct 4 '11 at 12:05

Columnstore Indexes

From MSDN:

Columnstore indexes group and store data for each column and then join all the columns to complete the whole index.

Notes:

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FYI you can also get 15K partitions in 2008 SP2 & 2008 R2 SP1 - so this isn't strictly a 2012 feature. I know you're talking about the combination of 15K & ColumnStore but I just wanted to clarify. –  Aaron Bertrand Mar 9 '12 at 20:50

IIF() and CHOOSE()

These are new switching functions that were once available only on Microsoft Access. They are syntactic sugar for CASE expressions and compile to the same plans (source: IIF, CHOOSE).

Syntax

IIF ( boolean_expression, true_value, false_value )
CHOOSE ( 1-based-index, val_1, val_2 [, val_n ] )

Note: Both these functions cast their output to the data type with the highest precedence from the set of types passed in as arguments.

Examples

SELECT IIF(1 = 1, 'true', 'false') iif_example;
SELECT CHOOSE(3, 10.3354, 'It slices!', 1337, N'It dices!') choose_example;

Note how in the second example the output is 1337.0000. That's because 10.3354 gets implicitly cast to NUMERIC(8, 4), which has the highest data type precedence in the list of arguments passed to CHOOSE(). Thus, the output also get cast to NUMERIC(8, 4), which is why you see four trailing zeros after the decimal.

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LAG and LEAD (Blog article) and the other OVER clause (MSDN) stuff.

And these blog articles cover most of them

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It was about time for those :) –  a_horse_with_no_name Oct 21 '11 at 8:08

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