At Microsoft Dynamics our vision is to help companies transform into dynamic businesses by impassioning and equipping the individuals in their organizations. SQL Server 2012 which is being released at the Virtual Launch Event today is helping us deliver on that promise. Microsoft Dynamics CRM along with SQL Server 2012 provides a mission-critical customer data platform that can provide valuable insights for end-users, fulfilling the vision of “CRM Anywhere” by enabling individuals to access the right information at the right time on the right device.
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 introduces a new Reporting Services Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 called Power View, previously code-named Project Crescent. Power View is a next-generation BI tool for interactive data exploration, visualization, and presentation. Simply put, it helps business users put together interactive presentations and breathtaking insights similar to Hans Rosling’s vivid demonstrations. Salespeople and customer care representatives can get such insights on an immersive canvas with the Power View templates for Dynamics CRM that will be available in the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace as part of the Q2 2012 service update.
Besides Power View, there are numerous enhancements to the core reporting engine within SQL Server 2012. SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) introduces alerting for end-users, enabling users to set up their own alerts directly against the elements of a report. For example, end users can setup alerts when certain numbers on reports go out of band. The Alert checks for data changes in the background and sends an Alert Message. Reporting Services now also provide the ability to export reports into Open XML formats which are the familiar document formats used by Microsoft Word and Excel since 2007. The new rendering capabilities also take advantage of the new document formats such as increased column and row limits within Excel and generally smaller file sizes.
With the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Q2 2012 service update we provide customers with the opportunity to harness the core database engine capabilities of Microsoft SQL server 2012 to leverage its performance and scalability advancements. Currently SQL Server 2012 is being deployed in all Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online data centers to further increase performance and reliability for your mission critical customer data. It is worth pointing out that Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online powered by SQL Server 2012 is the largest implementation of SQL Server “AlwaysOn” technology providing a highly available enterprise-class solution in the cloud with financially backed 99.9% uptime.
Better Scalability and Predictable Performance
Last year, we released performance benchmarking results that demonstrate that a single instance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 that can scale to support an enterprise implementation of 150,000 concurrent users executing a heavy workload against a large, complex database. SQL Server 2012 which is NUMA (Non Uniform Memory Access) aware takes the Dynamics CRM performance to a new level with a much improved memory manager. With a fast and robust Extended Capturing mechanism, performance profiling and fine tuning with SQL Server 2012 is better than ever. With AlwaysOn Active Secondaries, you can actively utilize the secondary instance for reading business data instead of having an idle backup hardware wasting key resources. Overall, SQL Server helps Dynamics CRM customers deploy a global application regardless of whether they deploy on-premises or in the cloud with CRM Online.
SQL Server provides a policy based management framework that vastly simplifies administration and improves manageability of SQL Server databases. With AlwaysOn, IT gets much better database availability but at the same better hardware utilization with active secondaries. SQL Server 2012 also expands on the PowerShell support delivered in SQL Server 2008 by leveraging Windows PowerShell 2.0 allowing DBAs to take advantage of the latest PowerShell features and offers the flexibility to use SQLPS.exe for all SQL and related automation scenarios.
SQL Server 2012 includes a number of security enhancements to provide a robust enterprise-grade database platform for customer data. The addition of user-defined server roles increases flexibility, manageability and facilitate compliance towards better separation of duties in enterprises. This is very helpful to organizations that have several users administering a variety of databases. Also a number of industry certifications have been granted to Dynamics CRM Online and SQL Server recently to further validate our commitment to trustworthy computing.
With a new Visual Studio based IDE named “SQL Server Data Tools”, developers can now rejoice with a unified and integrated toolset for developing database and BI applications. For SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) developers, SQL 2012 brings the much anticipated undo/redo functionality along with an improved data flow design experience and human readable packages that also works well with source control systems.
This post was just a tip of iceberg on what SQL Server 2012 can offer to business applications and to learn more about SQL Server 2012 release and to download a copy of the SQL Server 2012 RTM bits, check out the SQL Server team blog at http://blogs.technet.com/b/dataplatforminsider. Also learn more about the new capabilities that Dynamics CRM brings with Q2 2012 Service Update by reading Dynamics CRM Q2 2012 Release Preview Guide.
If you have an interesting case study or usage of SQL Server 2012 with Dynamics CRM, I’d love to hear from you and please feel free to reach out to me directly at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/girishr/contact.aspx.
Product Manager, Dynamics CRM