I am pretty sure you must be wondering what is RC0. RC0 stands for 'Release Candidate 0'. The term release candidate (RC) refers to a version with potential to be a final product, which is ready to release unless fatal bugs emerge. In this stage of product stabilization, all product features have been designed, coded and tested through one or more beta cycles with no known showstopper-class bug.
So Microsoft has made available a release candidate of Microsoft SQL Server 2012, considering it "production ready". Microsoft referred this new version as SQL Server Code Named "Denali", but has settled on SQL Server 2012 as the final name for the product.
There are many new features in this release throughout all components, including the Database Engine, the Analysis, Integration, Reporting and Master Data Services, but the SQL Server Team Blog has outlined 5 of them considered as most important:
- Greater availability : Deliver the required 9s and data protection with AlwaysOn, delivering added functionality over CTP3 that allows customers to experience multiple, readable secondaries for distributed scale of reporting and backup workloads and support for FileTable and FILESTREAM which brings first-class HA to complex data types.
- Blazing-fast performance : More effectively govern performance in multi-tenancy environments like private cloud. Resource Governor enhancements include support for 64 resource pools, greater CPU usage control, and resource pool affinity for partitioning of physical resources and predictable resource allocation.
- Rapid data exploration : Empower end users with new insights through rapid data exploration and visualization. Discover new insights at the speed of thought with more feature/functionality in Power View, the highly interactive, familiar browser-based data exploration, visualization, and presentation experience for end users.
- Credible, consistent data : In addition to CTP3 functionality delivered for Data Quality Services and Master Data Services, customers can better support heterogeneous data within Data Warehouses through new Change Data Capture (CDC) support for Oracle.
- Optimized productivity : Optimize IT and developer productivity across server and cloud with the new SQL Server Data Tools, a unified development experience for database and business intelligence projects, and cloud-ready capabilities within SQL Server Management Studio for snapshot backups to the Windows Azure Platform. Additionally, SQL Server 2012 offers a new version of Express – LocalDB. SQL Express LocalDB is a lightweight version of Express with all its programmability features, yet runs in user mode with a fast, zero-configuration installation and short list of pre-requisites.
The product will come in 3 main editions: Standard, Business Intelligence and Enterprise. Here is a feature comparison among the three main editions.
|Feature comparison - SQL Server 2012 Editions|
For more information,
Microsoft SQL Server 2012
What's New in SQL Server 2012 RC 0
SQL Server 2012 Editions