Microsoft is to offer a new edition of SQL Server in the 2012 release - Business Intelligence Edition.
The news emerged alongside details of what the other licenses will be, with some existing editions destined for the chop. Instead of the existing six editions, there will be just four - Express, Standard, Enterprise and BI. The versions that are disappearing completely are Data Center and Workgroup, while the Web edition is changing the licensing model.
The free Express edition will stay pretty much as is in terms of features and functionality, so if you’re using that for development work you shouldn’t see to many surprises. Microsoft isn’t announcing specific features for each edition as yet, though, and this level of detail isn’t expected until SQL Server is made available on general release next year. However, there are plenty of hints being dropped.
One thing that might have surprised you is the loss of the Web Edition. In fact things are a bit more complicated on this front, because while you’ll no longer be able to buy it standalone, using your enterprise license agreement or retailer, you will be able to get it as part of a hosted service from companies such as Amazon EC2 and RackSpace.
The new BI edition is the big news, though. It is designed to fit between Standard and Enterprise, and will include the features you’d expect - PowerView and Power Pivot for SharePoint Services, Advanced Analytics, Data Quality Services and Master Data Services.
The BI edition won’t have the new column store index - to get that you’ll need to get Enterprise Edition, which will also be the only edition to have data compression and table partitioning.
You can check out the officially released details on Microsoft’s SQL Server Editions page and pricing details are also available.
SQL Server releases (Denali) available
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