SQL Server 2012
Microsoft has recently launched SQL Server 2012. It has some massive improvements on its predecessor. Reporting Services adds a Web front-end for data exploration and visualisation, called Power View. SQL Analysis Services has released a new semantic model, which gives Business Intelligence professionals more ease and flexibility to build solutions. Columnstore indexing helps you run queries in a data warehouse faster. Data Quality Services, along with improvements to Master Data Services, provide the tools for protecting company data.
Also new in SQL Server 2012 is features which appeal to Database Business Administrators. Microsoft has improved High Availability: the addition of AlwaysOn technology allows you to configure read-only copies of your primary database, and use them for reporting. AlwaysOn has also solved the issue of failover of multiple dependent databases.
It also has added a feature called ContainedDB which helps you identify a database to be self-contained so it’s not allowed to have external dependencies. There have been two major indexing improvements: online re-indexing and column store indexes.
SQL 2012 can now be installed on Windows Server Core, which helps increase both the security and the speed of the server.