On April 2, Microsoft released SQL Server 2012, the latest version of its SQL Server database platform. The company also announced the availability of a second preview for the company’s Hadoop “big data” service for the Windows Azure cloud.
Many of SQL Server 2012’s new features serve the high end of Microsoft’s customer base. They focus on supporting hybrid IT environments that blend more traditional data center deployments with those in private and public cloud computing environments. These features include SQL Server Data Tools, a new common set of tools for SQL Server and cloud SQL Azure application and database development. The release also contains the Power View web-based ad-hoc data visualization tool, which allows users to generate presentations and reports by pulling data from published SQL Server datasets and other data sources published through Microsoft’s Windows Azure Marketplace.
The new Hadoop preview ups the capacity and reliability of the trial service on Azure. According to a blog post from Microsoft’s SQL Server team, Microsoft has quadrupled the capacity of the preview from its initial invitation-only trial. The company also added disaster recovery features for the Hadoop Distributed File System in the Azure cloud. The new preview includes the promised data connections for Office and SharePoint. There is also support for connections from SQL Server 2012’s Power View and other business analytics tools—as well as support for open-source Hadoop analytics projects such as Mahout. Microsoft customers can sign up for a slot in the Hadoop on Azure trial at hadooponazure.com.
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Microsoft ships SQL Server 2012, refreshes Hadoop on Azure preview