SQL Server 2012 is the official name for the next generation of SQL Server. As enterprise Microsoft customers, my team has been anxiously awaiting this version of SQL Server. There has been a gap between SQL Server as an enterprise database and SQL Server as a set of tools that end users can leverage to make their jobs easier. SQL Server 2012 narrows that gap. Check out my article that highlights SQL Server Denali New Features to get you started.
As with all things Microsoft, there are bits and pieces of knowledge spread all over Microsoft and other high-quality sites around the web. This article will provide you with the most important resources to get you up to speed on SQL Server 2012. My goal is to save you time in wrapping your head around SQL Server 2012. I know first hand that there is never enough time for IT workers.
Microsoft SQL 2012 Resource Center
This is the official home page of the Microsoft MSDN SQL Server. You can download the current SQL Server 2012 Release Candidate (RC0), access books online, and see current news.
SQL Server 2012 Collaboration Resources
SQL Server 2012 Feedback
This is the SQL Server forum called SQL Server Connect. There isn't a forum just for SQL Server 2012 (Denali) but just search for the strings "SQL Server 2012", "SQL Server 2012 RC0", "SQL Server Denali". Check here on everything SQL Server 2012. Use your Microsoft Live account to login.
MSDN SQL Server Forums
This is the MSDN SQL Server forum landing page. It includes all the individual forums you would expect including Data Mining, SQL Server Reporting Services, DR, Documentation, Setup, Security, etc. The new SQL Server 2012 stuff is interspersed within these forums.
SQL Server 2012 Special Ops Tour
Connect with SQL Server professionals with this 12 city roadshow which will highlight everything cool about SQL Server 2012. There is a short video on YouTube called Calling All SQL Professionals.
SQL Server on the Social Networks:
SQL Server 2012 Installation Resources
Download SQL Server 2012 Release Candidate
You need to register to download the Release Candidate, which is available in 32 and 64 bit versions.
SQL Server Learning Resources
SQL Server 2012 Learning Center
This is the SQL Server learning center. This includes learning resources for SQL Server including SQL Server 2012.
SQL Server 2012 Release Candidate Wiki
This is the TechNet Wiki for SQL Server 2012 RC 0. Sections include, What's New, tutorials, code samples and reporting servers.
SQL Server 2012 Important Features
Many of the features in SQL Server 2012, formally referred to as SQL Server Denali have been discussed in detail. Here are a few links to information of features that are new to SQL Server 2012.
Features in SQL Server 2012
Article show in depth features including in SQL Server 2012 including programming enhancements, requirements for installation, ad-hoc query paging and information on Project Crescent (new name is Power View).
Power View is the new name for Project Crescent. This is the new reporting and visualization tool shipping with SQL Server 2012. One of the most important new features in SQL Server 2012, this feature will bring SQL Server 2012 up to speed with some of the other databases in terms of reporting, dashboards and visualizations.
This artical highlights some of the methods for mining data. With the tools shipped with SQL Server 2012, end users can dig through terabytes of data in order to unlock hidden business information.
Analysis Services in SQL Server 2012 leverages the BI Semantic Model for real time data analysis. This is preview documentation only but will end up being the normal books online for SQL Server 2012. The current version of the documentation is release candidate 0. The getting started section is really useful with information on getting started quickly which covers the various options for installing SQL Server 2012. You will find that the wizard is just the beginning. You can install from a command prompt in addition to using SysPrep which is designed for corporate system administrators.T
SQL Server 2012 Spport for Hadoop
Hadoop is open source software designed to support very large datasets. The project includes common utilities, a distributed file system and MapReduce which provides a framework for processing large databases on computing clusters. SQL Server 2012 includes Hadoop connectors that allow customers to integration Hadoop with their existing SQL Server environments.
Connectors for Hadoop can be found in the Microsoft Download Center.
More SQL Server 2012 Features: