The next release of SQL Server has an official name as well as a target ship date, Microsoft announced today.
No longer codenamed "Denali" – the Native American name for Alaska's Mount McKinley – the release will be dubbed prosaically Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) SQL Server 2012, and it's slated for delivery in the first half of next year.
Microsoft corporate vice president Ted Kummert was scheduled to tell the long-awaited news to attendees at the opening keynote of the PASS Summit 2011 this week in Seattle – along with plans to add more support for Apache Hadoop and Big Data.
The company is working on Hadoop distributions for Windows Server private cloud and for Microsoft's Windows Azure public cloud deployments as well as data centers.
A Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the Hadoop based service for Windows Azure will be available by the end of 2011, and a CTP of the Hadoop based distribution for Windows Server will follow in 2012, Kummert was set to tell the attendees.
The company also announced final versions of the Hadoop Connectors for SQL Server and Parallel Data Warehouse, which customers can use to integrate Hadoop with their existing SQL Server environments
Additionally, Microsoft plans to become an active contributor to the Hadoop project, according to Doug Leland, general manager of product management for SQL Server marketing.
"We are committed to maintain compatibility and to contribute back to Hadoop," Leland told InternetNews.com.
Microsoft released the first CTP of what was then known as Denali nearly a year ago in November.
Among the new features coming in Denali are SQL Server AlwaysOn, which supports multi-site clustering, ColumnStore Index which the company claims delivers over 10x data warehouse performance gains, and support for Big Data, Leland said.
"The next frontier is all about uniting the power of the cloud with the power of data to gain insights that simply weren't possible even just a few years ago," Kummert said in a statement. "Microsoft is committed to making this possible for every organization, and it begins with SQL Server 2012."
Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.