CRM 2011 – Will Denali, the new version of SQL Server help ease the pain of creating reports in CRM 2011

This week I have been writing some reports using SSIS and have been tearing my hair out at the slow and painful process using SSIS can be.  Writing reports in CRM 2011 is one area Microsoft really need to improve.

I have read on a few blog posts that in the next release of SQL Server which is codenamed Denali might improve this so I tried to find some information on it and I have found a bit of information but nothing to get my hopes up.  The good news is Denali is meant to be released in 2011 and you can see from the table below, which I found here

Sql Server historical releases

In 1988, Microsoft released its first version of SQL Server. It was developed jointly by Microsoft and Sybase for the OS/2 platform.

  • 1993 – SQL Server 4.21 for Windows NT
  • 1995 – SQL Server 6.0, codenamed SQL95
  • 1996 – SQL Server 6.5, codenamed Hydra
  • 1999 – SQL Server 7.0, codenamed Sphinx
  • 1999 – SQL Server 7.0 OLAP, codenamed Plato
  • 2000 – SQL Server 2000 32-bit, codenamed Shiloh (version 8.0)
  • 2003 – SQL Server 2000 64-bit, codenamed Liberty
  • 2005 – SQL Server 2005, codenamed Yukon (version 9.0)
  • 2008 – SQL Server 2008, codenamed Katmai (version 10.0)
  • 2010 – SQL Server 2008 R2, Codenamed Kilimanjaro (aka KJ)
  • Next – SQL Server 2011, Codenamed Denali
I did finally find a blog with top 9 features in Denali, you can read the whole blog post here but these features did give me some hope

3. Juneau

Juneau is the code name for the new SQL Server Development Tools. Its purpose is to provide a single development environment for all database related project types including bringing BIDS (Business Intelligence Development Studio) and SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio) into the same IDE.

4. Apollo

Apollo is the codename for Column-based Query Accelerator. I have to admit that this is the feature I’m most excited about. I watched some impressive demos showing how much performance gain is realized on very large result set queries. Microsoft claims an approximate 10 times increase in query performance.

Columnstore Indexes are what is set up to provide for this increase in query performance. Essentially, instead of storing rows on pages, columns are stored individually on a set of pages. Algorithms can then be used to compress the redundancy out of the column. Thewhitepaper on the new Columnstore Index points out the following benefits:

  • only the columns needed to solve a query are fetched from disk (this is often fewer than 15% of the columns in a typical fact table),
  • it’s easier to compress the data due to the redundancy of data within a column, and
  • buffer hit rates are improved because data is highly compressed, and frequently accessed parts of commonly used columns remain in memory, while infrequently used parts are paged out.

5. Crescent

This cool new tool aimed at the business user is actually still yet to come. Project “Crescent” furthers Business Intelligence for everyone by providing a powerful and speedy data visualization tool in the browser. It has a feature called storyboarding which allows the user to create multiple snapshots of the data in order to tell a story about that data. Once the snapshots are created, the storyboard can be exported to PowerPoint where the data is displayed live inside the PowerPoint slides. The demos of this product are a must-see. Below are two links. The last is the keynote from Day 1 of the PASS Summit (by Ted Kummert, Microsoft Sr. Vice President, Business Platform Division) and contains a lot more than just Project Crescent.

Data Visualization Done Right: Project Crescent

PASS Summit 2010 Day One Live Streaming Keynote

so at the end of the article I am starting to feel a bit more hopeful but because I haven’t heard anything about the release of a new version of SQL server then it does dampen my enthusiasm a bit.  Please Microsoft help ease the pain of many CRM developers by improving the reporting in CRM 2011.

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