The ‘feature complete’ Release Candidate of SQL Server 2012 is now available for download.
According to the SQL Server Team Blog, over 100,000 people have downloaded the earlier technical previews.
Improvements in this release start with greater availability by allowing the use of multiple secondary mirrored databases that can be used for tasks such as reporting and backup. Performance is another area to have received improvements with the Resource Governor now supporting 64 resource pools and providing more control of CPU usage.
For developers, one of the more interesting additions to this version is SQL Server Data Tools, which can be used to develop both database and business intelligence projects. Equally interesting is a new version, CTP3, of SQL Express LocalDB. This is a lightweight version of Express that still has all the options for programming, but that runs in user mode and is easy to install and relatively modest in its pre-requisites. You can find out more and try it here.
Other improvements worth noting in the Release Candidate are the ability to carry out snapshot backups to Windows Azure from within SQL Server Management Studio, and extra functionality in PowerView so end users can analyze their own data.
Download SQL Server 2012 Release Candidate 0
SQL Server releases (Denali) available
SQL Server 2012 B I edition
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