Microsoft SQL Server 2012 is a cloud-ready information platform that will help organizations unlock breakthrough insights across the organization and quickly build solutions to extend data across on-premises and public cloud, backed by mission critical confidence.
SQL Server 2012 supports connections to external big-data sources for analytics. It can connect to Apache Hadoop, for example, running on a remote cluster of machines passing queries and pulling the results into SQL Server itself for further analysis. Other types of nonrelational data can be brought into SQL Server as well, using its built-in data connectors.
SQL Server 2012 also makes it easier to build databases and applications on one server and move them to another server or to a cloud service, such as those based on Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform.
The database software can be easily integrated with Microsoft’s Office desktop applications through Open Database Connectivity connections. SQL Server’s data mining add-ins for Microsoft Office let Excel and Visio users access the reporting and analytics features of SQL Server itself, allowing them to take advantage of server-side “predictive analytics” to explore relationships within data.
A major new feature for the Business Intelligence and Enterprise editions is PowerView, a web-based self-service BI toolkit that integrates with SharePoint. It allows users to do ‘mash-ups’ of different pre-built reports from different servers across the network and pull the results into presentations and other documents.