Microsoft's delivered a near-final version of the Hadoop-friendly next version of its database.
RC is the last stage before final product and Microsoft called the database's RC "a production quality release" that includes access to upgrade and migration tools such as Upgrade Advisor, Distributed Replay and SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA).
This version of its database plays to high availability and business intelligence.
Microsoft said SQL Server 2012, codenamed Denali, offers more control of servers, workloads and resources making it well suited to a virtualised cloud environment, while there's also improved query performance in data warehousing.
On the data side, SQL Server 2012 caters to in-memory databases that support business intelligence analysis and there's a new reporting client built using Microsoft's Silverlight.
Microsoft last month announced the open-source, Google-inspired data crunching Hadoop framework would be integrated with its database. A technology preview of Hadoop in SQL Server 2012 is expected "by 2012".
SQL Server 2012 is due by the middle of next year, according to Microsoft. ®