SQL Server v.Next (Denali) : When will Denali be released?

Every few days I see the following question being asked on #sqlhelp, on forums, or in person at various SQL-related events:

    <div style="padding: 10px 20px; background: none repeat scroll 0% 0% rgb(238, 238, 238); font-size: 12px; font-family: georgia, times; -moz-background-inline-policy: continuous;"><b><i>Q: When will Denali be released?</i></b></div></td></tr></table>

A barrage of similar questions actually occurs for every major release (and often for service packs of well) of just about every Microsoft product. And the answer never changes:

    <div style="padding: 10px 20px; background: none repeat scroll 0% 0% rgb(238, 238, 238); font-size: 12px; font-family: georgia, times; -moz-background-inline-policy: continuous;"><b><i>A: When it's ready.</i></b></div></td></tr></table>

I think they've learned from past events that if they announce too early, they find themselves committed to that date, even if complications mean the product isn't really ready. Take mirroring in SQL Server 2005; it wasn't officially supported until SP1, but they had to ship SQL Server when they did (or have to change the name). Now, that was an extreme case because they were already two years overdue, and the pressure to release was too great. But the same thing could happen today. That said, they do usually reveal the targeted date at a major event a couple of months in advance. When the first (and only, so far) CTP was released, it was made clear that the target date of Denali was Q4 2011 (so many assume it will, in fact, be called "SQL Server 2011"). So, if you change your question slightly to:

    <div style="padding: 10px 20px; background: none repeat scroll 0% 0% rgb(238, 238, 238); font-size: 12px; font-family: georgia, times; -moz-background-inline-policy: continuous;"><b><i>Q: When will we find out the Denali release date?</i></b></div></td></tr></table>

Then my answer can become:

    <div style="padding: 10px 20px; background: none repeat scroll 0% 0% rgb(238, 238, 238); font-size: 12px; font-family: georgia, times; -moz-background-inline-policy: continuous;"><b><i>A: Possibly at the <a href="http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2011/" title="http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2011/" target="_blank">PASS Summit</a> (October 11-14, 2011).</i></b></div></td></tr></table>

No guarantees, of course. Nobody is trying to withhold information from you; we just don't have it – when we know, you'll also know. In the meantime, I am quite serious when I say, "your guess is as good as mine."

 

Aaron Bertrand

I am a passionate technologist with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. I am a long-time Microsoft MVP, speak frequently at conferences, and write at SQLPerformance and MSSQLTips. In real life I am an architect at Wayfair.

8 Responses

  1. Peter Schott says:

    Actually my question at this point is more along the lines of "When is the next CTP scheduled for release to the public?" I realize that the target date for actual release is not going to be solid until the product is solid and even then may not be disclosed for a while. As I understand it, the next CTP will enable a lot of the interesting BI features for Denali and I'd like to see what those can do.
    It doesn't really matter too much either way – just hoping to get a better look at what's actually coming in the RTM version.

  2. AaronBertrand says:

    That seems to be an even more closely guarded secret than the release date. Some would have expected a CTP announcement at TechEd this week, but doesn't look to be the case…

  3. AaronBertrand says:

    And here is confirmation, a tweet from @MSSQLServer:
    The next #SQLDenali CTP is coming this summer! Sign up today to be first to test the new bits: http://bit.ly/mSNewe

  4. mgm says:

    For those of us with SQL Server Enterprise licensed under the grant that allows us to run unlimited VMs until the next release of SQL Server, we need the release date as soon as possible so we can budget for upgrading all our Enterprise editions to DataCenter. Not only do we not know the date for when we need to upgrade we don't know the cost (will it be cheaper than a normal SASU upgrade)

  5. AaronBertrand says:

    mgm, sorry, but just because you have a use case, you can't get special privileges like advance knowledge of dates that have not yet been decided. You can get a slightly better idea of timing (based on the frequency of released builds) if you are on the TAP program, but I'm fairly certain it's too late to do that for Denali anyway.

  6. Robert says:

    I was wondering if the next CTP would likely come out.  Thanks.  

  7. Robert says:

    I meant "when" not "if".  I guess I'm not very patient.

  8. AaronBertrand says:

    Microsoft announced "summer" – sorry but nobody will be able to get any more specific than that.